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esophageal spasm?
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esophageal spasm?

I have been experiencing what I think is esophageal spasms. Symptoms are excessive spasmodic belching, discomfort in the center to upper chest area, almost like a knot. This becomes most pronounced during periods of stress.  I have been prescribed Prilosec which doesn't seem to relieve my symptoms. However, alprazolam at .5mg eases the feeling and it eventually goes away.  My question is then, is there such a thing as stress-induced spasm of the esophagus?
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Yes, mj, there is esophageal spasm.  This term refers to simultaneous contractions of esophageal muscle at several different levels so that the normal movement of food down the esophagus is impaired.  Symptoms can include chest pain (may simulate a heart attack) and difficulty swallowing solids and liquids (sensation of food sticking in esophagus).  Symptoms can be precipitated by drinking thermally hot or cold liquids e.g. coffee or ice tea.  Stress can also precipitate symptoms.

At present, there are no universally effective treatments.  Smooth muscle relaxants are often used but benefits are unpredictable.
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I have been to this board before with questions and comments about what my docs call "intractable belching."  I empathize with all who have had to deal with this or similar conditions.  Hoping that it will be of some use to others, below I outline what I have done to find a "cure" for this awful disease, whatever it is.

First of all, my symptoms:  there seems to be only one that actually bothers me, and that is the intractable belching. I have been experiencing this for 10 months. On "bad" days, which until recently occurred 3 or 4 days a week, I will belch 150 or more times a day.  There has been no discernable cause for this belching --- and as far as a "pattern", there seems to be none.  They just come when they want to.  On days that are not "bad," I still will belch 40-50 times a day.  The belching comes and goes almost randomly;  I will belch 5-10 times a minute for 3 or 4 minutes, then nothing for 10 minutes, then 5-10 times a minute for 3 or 4 minutes. . . . and then after a while, nothing much for an hour or two.  Then the pattern returns.  The belching causes two very uncomfortable feelings:  (1) the esophogus, which is a muscle, or series of circular muscles, hurts, like any muscle that is over-exerted -- particularly since much of the belching is rather "vigorous";  and (2) the belching creates a feeling of semi-nauseousness.  I have only experienced an acid taste on a few occasions, although endoscopy indicated esophogitis and EMT (?) (esophogael motility test) and 24-hour ph probe indicated an abnormal amount of acid in my esophogus.  Again, however, I do not experience acid reflux like others have reported, and indeed the only surefire way to relieve the belching is to lay flat on my back.

[Before continuing with the chronology of my story -- again, for what it's worth -- let me share with you my understanding (based on what I have to estimate as better than a hundred hours of reading everything I can related to this topic) of the "mechanics" of belching.  I, too, seem to experience (perhaps half of the time) belching that results from esophogael spasms.  My reading suggests that these indeed may be spasms -- or simply the mechanics of a belch:  the esophogus, apparently, will contract when it feels gas/air pushing against the lower esophogael sphincter, as a way of opening the sphincter and releasing the gas/air;  this contraction, I believe, is what seems to be a spasm.  My experience is that the contraction seems to suck air into the esophogus, sometimes sounding like what I call a "pre-belch" belch;  the medical literature refers to this as a yo-yo type of mechanism, and apparantly the sucked-in air never even gets to the stomach, but just belches back up, and perhaps drags along the gas/air that is pushing against the lower sphincter from below.  At the same time, I myself have not dismissed the possibility that there is a neurological component at work here, a spasm;  and I guess I need to learn more about the vagus nerve that others have written about on this board.  A neurologist is the only specialist I have not yet seen for a diagnosis of this condition, but that will happen shortly.]

Before outlining my encounters with the traditional medical specialties regarding this condition, let me mention the alternative therapies I have tried:
          1.  chiropractic
          2.  therapeutic massage
          3.  hypnosis
          4.  biofeedback
          5.  acupuncture
None of the first four of these alternative therapies provided any help (although I would strongly recommend therapeutic massage just 'cause it feels good, and anyone looking for answers and encountering, as many of us have, uncaring and unprofessional physicians deserves this treat.

The jury is still out, so to speak, on acupuncture as far as I'm concerned.  I have made two visits to date.  After the first one, I was belch-free for four full days, which was the first time that had happened since the onset of the intractable belching.  My second visit wasn't as successful, but I am determined to continue with this approach (which really does require one to suspend judgement because, on the surface acupuncture has no immediate visible links to hard science) until it has had enough time to work, if it's going to work.

The tradition medical approaches I have used include:

1.  Family doc/internal medicine --- took some time for him to believe that this was something more serious than an embarassing social problem.  Blood tests revealed the presence of the Heliobacter Pylori antibody, meaning that at some time in my life the little bugger had been in my system.  Doc put me on a 14-day antibiotic regime to do away with the H Pylori, if in fact it was still in me.

2.  Upper GI test concluded there was nothing wrong with my upper GI tract.  

3.  Endoscopy.  Concluded, based on tissue samples, that there was no H Pylori in my esophogus or stomach.  But did make a finding of esophogitis and a hiatal hernia.  My question to several docs has been whether the belching could be related to the hiatal hernia, and their responses have been a resounding "no" --- upwards of 40 percent of adults have hiatal hernia and if they caused belching, they say, there would a lot more of us walking around with intractable belching.  Incidentally, the GI doc who did the endoscopy was absolutely the most unprofessional, uncaring, hard-of-hearing physician I have ever encountered --- more about him below because I'm wondering whether he, in fact, missed something when he stuck his tv camera down my throat.

4.  Cardiologist.  I am a 59 year old male who had a heart attack five years ago.  I have read somewhere in these medical websites that if one is having chest discomfort, you'd better make sure it's not your heart that's causing the discomfort.  I've noticed that quite a few people on this board experience heart arthmyias related to GI problems, although there seems to be nothing amiss with my heart at this time.

5.  Endocrinologist.  One or more of these medical websites also have suggested there could possibly be a link between intractable belching and thyroid malfunction.  I have been on medication for hypothyroidism for ten years, but a complete thyroid/blood test revealed that my thyroid is functioning within normal ranges.

6.  Gallbladder Ultrasound.  Revealed a completely normal gallbladder, which in the absence of any typical malfunctioning gallbladder pain was unlikely to be the culprit, but we checked it anyway.

7.  Gastrointestinal Specialist at a "leading national research hospital" -- name not to be revealed by me at this point, pending further reports from them.  Esophogael Motility Test and 24-hour ph test, as indicated above, were conducted -- revealing upper and lower esophogael sphincters working normally, but the "tone" of the esophogus was below-normal (that is, as I understand it, the esophogus itself exerts less pressure in moving food toward the stomach --- although I have never had, like many others here have, any trouble swallowing solids or liquids.)

As far as medications are concerned. . . .no over-the-counter drugs have helped one iota.  I've tried them all -- simethicone
based and calcium based. . .even some licorice-based health food store supplement.

I have been on Prilosec and Propulsid for a number of months.  At first, neither seemed to help at all.  I now believe they do probably help a little --- but it was 3-4 months before they seemed to do any good.  My suspicion is that whatever acid reflux I do have --- although it is strange that I don't "taste" any reflux, despite it apparently being there as evidenced by esophogitis and ph-test results --- is caused by the belching;  that is, when one belches as much as I have been, it is bound to suck some stomach acid up into the esophogus;  at least one of the specialists I have seen agrees that there is probably something to this analysis.

I am presently in the midst (one week along) of an experimental self-treatment.  Thirty years ago I was hospitalized with a duodonal ulcer, and the treatment then included the blandest of diets:   soft-boiled eggs, cream of wheat, half-and-half (and Maalox) for two solid weeks.  I know that ulcers are now blamed on the Heliobacter Pylori bacteria, but I decided to try the diet, minus the Maalox, from 30 years ago.  After 3 days on the diet, my intractable belching disappeared by a factor of 98 percent !!!!   It's just been 4 days of this relief, and the bad belching may return in a day or two.  If the relief continues, however, I will need to figure out "what next".  Obviously, one can't spend the rest of his life eating soft-boiled eggs and cream of wheat.  Also, I will have to have answered the question, why is this "diet" working?  Do I have an ulcer that the endoscopy missed?  Is H Pylori still present in me?  Or some other bacteria or fungal organism?  Incidentally, as far as this "diet" is concerned, it is not as low-fat as I normally eat, so fat does not seem to be the "answer."

One last comment and then I'll call it quits on this very long note.  I've read many physician comments that blame this belching on "swallowing air."  I, like many others who have written on this board, find it hard to believe that this is the best diagnosis they can come up with.  I asked the jerk who did the endoscopy on me when he told me my problem was that I was swallowing air, "Why after 59 years do you think I started swallowing air?"  His answer:  "It just happens."  Dahhh.  A number of different sources suggest avoiding sucking on straws, sucking on lolly pops, eating fast, talking and eating at the same time, etc.  Other sources suggest that changes in diet lead to excessive belching.  My own diagnosis leads me to conclude that since I don't suck on lollipops or straws, and I don't chew gum or eat fast or talk & eat, and when this problem first presented itself I had not changed my diet in any significant way, that the answer to my problem lies elsewhere.  I just wish that some of the so-called professionals I have seen would be a little more caring, listen more carefully, and be a lot more competent.

I hope some of this will be of help to other sufferers out there.

If my "new diet" continues to provide relief, I will report that back here, and hope that it might give others some idea of how they might be able to cure their belching problems.  God bless.





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Hi, your posting was most thorough and helpful and reminded me of my own efforts to get help. Holding a pencil  between my teeth was suggested at one point, with no thoughts of how you exist in the world and do that!
In the last year I have found something that improves but doesn't fix my problem, but I am so grateful for some relief that I mention it here.
I was aware that some foods and drinks worsened my problem. I also get arrhythmias and what were called panic attacks, but were always food related. I have now been using a combination of low dose aspirin and a multivitamin with minerals including molybdenum. I did this on the basis that there might be a connection with sulfites, which convert to sulphur dioxide in the  gut, and my symptoms. My symptoms are reduced enormously. From having attacks of 150 beats a minute lasting for some time, I now  get attacks less often, and just over 100 beats. I would love to get rid of it altogether, and stop the short runs of arrhythmia which are so uncomfortable, but believe me, as you know, any relief is wonderful.Good luck in your search. I had the esophageal testing...it is such an ugly experience, isn't it?

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I also have some questions. I think I'm having esophogeal spasms.  I'm a healthy 32 y.o. woman and am awoken from sleep with intense spasmodic pain in my chest that radiates to my back.  It feels exactly like I've swollowed something large and it's stuck in my esophagus, even though I haven't eaten for 10 hours or more.  My pain isn't constant though, I have a spasm every 5 seconds for awhile, then every 10 seconds, then every 15 seconds, and it goes like that for about an hour until it's gone.  The spasms are so painful, they take my breath away.  Does this pain pattern fit the diagnosis?  It always happens between 3 and 5 am and always wakes me up from sleep.  Never happens when I'm awake.
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In one word, YES. The esophagus is a simply a muscle. The esophagus though a simple muscle, is involved with very complex actions brought about thru the central nervous system.
The influence of other muscles within the neck, throat, chest,
abdomen, upper back, etc. is profound and clearly requires  precise coordination to maintain health.

The term " Globus Sensation" or " Globus Histericus", (G.H.)  describes the sensation of something in the throat or upper chest. "Feels like a tennis ball in my throat", " feels like my wind pipe's closing". Globus Histericus? Sometimes, not everytime.

The quickest and least invasive diagnostic procedure might be a 6 to 10 week trial with an antidepresant. Alprazolam may offer some short term reduction in symptoms but a true " Globus H." will require a drug such as Zolof or Prozac. Rapid reduction in symptoms after 2 or more weeks may be diagnostic. The treatment of G.H. may require 6 months to 1 year of continued antidepresant therapy.

There are many benign and destructive reasons for the above described symptoms. One of those could be G.H., and is quite treatable. The history is most often very telling.
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my GOD kathy you just described my proble for 10 years,, though i lived through all the spasms i nknew going to the doctor would be more medicine.. the pain in the back is none stop.. muscel relaxers are my best answer ... but to know others have this let's me at peace of not being crazy.. using my back and stomach sets this off everytime... so i do not sweep or mop or vacume sounds like being lazy but it helps the pain.. thanks for all the input
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FOR SERVERAL MONTHS I HAVE SUFFERED WITH A FEELING OF SOMETHING STUCK IN MY THROAT ( ABOUT THE SIZE OF AN ASPRIN)  AFTER HAVING ALL KINDS OF TESTING THEY NOW TELL ME THAT I HAVE ACID REFLUX
I NEVER SEAM TO SUFFER FROM "HEARTBURN" SO TO SPEAK I DO BELCH ALOT BUT THE DOCTORS DIDN'T SEAM TO THINK THAT HAD ANY BEARING ON MY COMPLAINTS.  I TWO SUFFER FROM THE SEVERE PAIN IN THE CHEST, RIB CAGE, SHOULDER BLADES, I ALSO SUFFER FROM PANIC ATTACKS NOW-I ALWAYS SEAM TO BE STRUGGLING FOR A DEEP BREATH-I WAS TOLD THIS IS ANXIETY ATTACKS-SOME DAYS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS.  I WAS GIVEN PREVECID AND ZANTAC - I'VE ONLY BEEN ON THIS FOR 4DAYS AND I WONDER IF ANYONE ELSE HAS EXPERIENCED THIS AWFUL ILLNESS.
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Hi, This is in response to B. Hobbs.  I happened to be at this site because I've been experiencing some major malfunctioning of my upper digestive tract (tentative diagnosis is esophagitis).  B., when I saw your posting, I had to answer you.  I don't really have any info. for you on your digestive problems, but I did want to give you some input on your anxiety, your struggle to catch your breath in particular.  I was diagnosed with panic disorder about ten years ago, and the difficulty I had getting a deep breath was the first symptom I noticed.  It's like one day I woke up and I just couldn't breathe right any more.  My rythmn was all off, and I could no longer catch that deep breath.  I became hyper-aware of my breathing, and it started driving me crazy.  I also started feeling like I was smothering -- literally, like someone was holding a pillow over my face and I was trying to breathe through it.  This made me struggle for breath even more, even further screwing up the situation (though I didn't know that was what was happening at the time).  After a couple of weeks of this, the frustration was unbearable, and it was then that I began having major panic attacks, which set off a whole avalanche of other horrible and frightening symptoms.  Thus began my super-long quest for help, going from one jerk of a dr. who thought I was nuts to another.  Finally I found one who knew what was happening to me, and he literally saved my life, as I felt that, although I didn't want to die, if this was what the quality of my life was going to be, I'd rather just say thanks, but no thanks.  I couldn't stand it, and I planned to kill myself.  The doc. took me off all the junk that had thus far been prescribed (including anti-psychotics -- tells you just what these other docs thought of me, eh?), and put me on 50 mg. of Doxepin at bedtime (it really knocks you out, and I definitely was in need of some sleep by this time -- plus I was in dire need of the anti-depressant effect as well), plus four mg. of Xanax spaced throughout the day.  He also recommended the books written by Claire Weekes, and the result of my reading and the meds. was a true miracle.  As time passed, I got my life back.  As I said, this was ten years ago.  There are times when I still have trouble, and I'll go back on medication for awhile, but thanks to greatly increased understanding and the loss of fear of the symptoms (even though I still hate them), I have gone for tremendous periods of time with no medication at all.
I don't know the extent of your medical problem, but anxiety will mess up anyone's breathing.  I used to know all the technical reasons, but it has something to do with hyperventilation changing the ph levels in the blood.  It's a vicious circle, because the more anxious you are, the faster your breathing becomes, but rather than helping, it makes things worse, and you develop a condition called "air hunger," where you really do feel like you're suffocating, and so struggle all the more.  In addition, the tension in your body causes all your muscles -- including the muscles in your chest -- to clench up, and this not only makes it harder to expand your lungs, it will cause your chest to get sore and ache.  I remember just wishing I could go back to the time in my life when I just breathed and didn't think -- I should say obsess -- about it.  But it's really hard when you can't catch that deep breath.  Out of all the absolutely horrible things I experienced (it's amazing what excessive anxiety can do to your body -- which in turn creates more anxiety), I think that the difficulty breathing was the worst, and that's why I wanted to write to you.  I've been there.  And guess what?  It does get better!  Some people can do it on their own, but I couldn't -- I really needed the medication to break the panic-symptom-panic cycle.  Once I started getting some sleep and my body started calming down and returning to normal, so did my breathing.  It did take time, but eventually, I got to the point where I never had to struggle for breath, and finally, to where I was able to forget about it again.  About 90% of the time now, I just breathe, have no trouble catching my breath, and never even think of it.  On the occasion I do get anxious, I don't let my breathing freak me out -- I know it will eventually return to normal.  But even ten years later, when my breath comes and catches easily, I still say to myself, "Thank you, God," because I well remember how terrible it was when it didn't.  If anxiety is a significant problem for you, I highly recommend checking with your dr. about giving Xanax a try, and also the following books:  HOPE AND HELP FOR YOUR NERVES and PEACE FROM NERVOUS SUFFERING by Claire Weekes, and THE ANXIETY DISEASE by David Sheehan.  These books will help so much to increase your understanding of what's going on with your body, and the understanding will really help lessen your fear, which will help your body relax and return to its normal state (another cycle, but this time a positive one).  Plus, you will feel understood and hopeful, and will be comforted in knowing you are not alone, and you will get better.
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Hi B., it's Reyna again.  I guess they set a space limit on blabbermouths!  I had no idea I had written so much.  I was almost done, though.  I just wanted to tell you that I really wish you well, not only with your anxiety, but any other medical problems you  may have.  If there is anything else I may be able to help you with, please let me know.  You can contact me here -- if you want my e-mail address, just say so.  Plus, if you're interested, I can explain some breathing exercizes that will help -- they won't necessarily make it easier to catch your breath, but they will put your breathing under your control and at the proper rate, which will take your anxiety down.  (If I can remember them, that is!)  God bless.
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I have been diagnosedwith "nutcracker esophagus".  Can anyone help me with finding out more information on this disorder.  I would really appreciate it.  Thanks
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This message is to Reyna-Thanks for the help. Its nice to know that someone understands.  I went to the dr. on Sat. now he has put me on hormone replacement therpy.  Sure hope this works!  The breathing doesn't bother me when sleeping only when I'm awake (aware).  I hate the feeling of choking, it feels like the throat is closing up.  Is this anxiety?  I have also found that when I visit the chiropractor and get adjusted I can BREATHE!!!! But it only last for a very short period of time, I can actually feel the blood flow again.  My chiropractor finds that interesting.  Sometimes the breathing doesn't bother me at all-if I'm busy and not thinking about it I'm fine but as soon as I discover that I haven't  been having trouble I'm right back to the beginning.  I notice that I tend to clear my throat all the time as though something is in it or I will pop my ears (like when on an airplane) just to get a deep breathe. I also noticed that it is worse when I'm driving in morning traffic.  I tend to get very dizzy and it feels like my throat is closing and I can't get enough air is this anxiety or panic.  Any help you have is most appriciated.  I'm so very tired of living like this.  I did suffer from this once before about 17 years ago and if my memory serves me correctly it took about a year to get over it.  Thanks again and I hope things are well for you.
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After reading this board I dont feel so crazy anymore.  One night back in March of 1999, I thought I was having a HEartattack.  Arms Knumb, Something stuck in my throat and difficulty breathing.  I went to the Doctor the next day to be told I have acid reflux.  For months they had me on Prilosec. I would have good days and bad till my interal Doc sent me to a specialist. At this point everyting seemed to be stuck in my throat and had yet to experience burning. This spec. ordered a endoscopy.  Endoscopy was normal, Upper Gi showed mild reflux, Gall bladder tests show'd functioning normall. The Gallbladder Die test gave me excrusiating pains in my lower abs, did anyone else experience this, and what did the Doc say about it?? All Docs have been asking me if I'm depresses?? Depressed they say the only thing that is depressing me is that I have been SUFFERING for almost a year now with no relief.  A cat scan recently done of my abdomen showed that my stomach does not drain.  Doc put me on Propulsid, only been on it a few days, I feel a little relief.  Does this story sound familiar to anyone, anything my Doctors or myself could be missing I just want ot be myself again.  IN 9 months I have gone from a size 8 to a size 4, my 4's are now falling off of me.(it's been about 30 pounds). Anyone know the best place I could go for a second opinion??
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Dear B. -- I posted a nice long reply (which was difficult, as I was being constantly interrupted by my fighting kids) -- well, I don't know whether I screwed up or the computer did, but the next thing I knew, the entire message had disappeared (teeth grinding time).  I can't stay on right now, I have to make sure my kids don't kill each other, but I wanted you to know I did write back, & will do so again ASAP.  Reyna
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Hi Reyna,  Thanks for taking the time to respond-I was once in your shoes with the fighting kids!!  Mine are grown now they don't seem to fight as much but there are other things!  Well I've decided to go to a Hypnotist on Monday, they say they can relieve stress-well I know its a long shot but its better than taking these meds as they don't seem to be relieving these feelings.  I'm so tired of this I really feel that I may have a chemical imbalance and my dr. says NO.  I know my dad had an imbalance and they treated him with libruim.  My Dr. wants me to go talk to a theropist I just can't see spending that kind of money week after week when maybe just maybe the hypnotist will do the trick!  Have you ever heard of anyone doing this?  Please let me know.  

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B., it's Reyna.  I am so disgusted I could scream.  Once again I wrote back to you, and once again my answer just disappeared into the ether when I clicked on "submit."  So I will keep this very short until we are able to find out what is wrong with this darn computer (or until we find out what we're doing wrong.  My husband fiddled with it for over an hour last night & can't figure it out, but then, we're not exactly computer experts, either).  Choking, chest pain, DIZZINESS definite symptoms of anxiety (of course, could be something else, too).  Chiropractic is great; keep going if you can afford it & it seems to help.  I see no reason not to give the hypnotism a try.  Unless you have a bottomless pit full of money, if you're not entirely comfortable, I don't know about the psychotherapy.  Is there any possibility your dr. just wants to hand you over to somebody else because he/she doesn't know what to do with you and/or thinks your problems are all in your head?  I've been down that road, so it makes me suspicious.  Why the h.r. therapy?  Good luck, let me know how you are, & I'll get back to you again as soon as I can.  All the best to everyone out there that's suffering, lots of people care & wish they could do more to help.
Reyna



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My problem is definitely different from the others I previewed.  I am in remission from lung cancer and during the treatments I received radiation which left scar tissue on my left lung and esophagus.  I now have spasms which have not allowed me to breath.  I get to the point of passing out and then as I sit on the floor and try to relax, little by little I can get a small amount of air and then return to normal in about 5 to 15 minutes.  There is no advance notice of the spasm, at first they came during the nite and now there is no "chosen" time.  I am going to get in touch with a gastroendocrimologist tomorrow,because it has gotten to the point of real fear.  The lung doctor gave me some medication that was supposed to help with acid reflux, but now it does not seem to be enough.  

Hope someone can give me some suggestions.

Thanks
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Oh the pain and discomfort in my chest and back from esophgeal spasms! As I sit writing this, my back is hurting (upper) and my stomach is making noises that could be heard in the other room. I had tears of reflux which turned into Barretts and I still suffer even though Prilosec has the reflux (acid) under control. It's just nice to know that I am not the only one experiencing all these irratating, worrysome symptoms.
Patricia
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Hi Reyna, Its me B... Well the hypnotherapist was probably a big waste of money---unless my insurance will pick up the pyscotherpy.  It they don't I won't be able to continue.  I also went for message therepy  on Friday it was GREAT!  IF I could only stay relaxed like that--got home, showered and fell off to sleep on the couch-slept right through dinner.  I'm returning tonight for my message this could be addicting!!!!!!  Well hope everyone out there is finding some relief.  My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
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I have what sounds like the same symtoms (symptoms). I recently had a upper G.I.. Everything came back normal. How is this diagnosed? What kind of tests need to be done? I am very anxious to get some feed back. Is it stess related?
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I've had a similar problem for the last 6 years.  It started out as VERY occasional (every few months) but progressed to every few days.  I'd get the feeling of food rising back up my esophagus about to the level of my Adam's apple.  At first I though it was just stress, or what foods I was eating or how fast I ate, but not much of that seemed to make any difference.  It got so bad that it usually made me vomit.  I went to a Family Practice doc at a World Famous Medical Center where I was working at the time, did a barium swallow, and was told I had a hiatial hernia, was given a perscription for Zantac, told to cut down on caffene, and that was that.  It provided some relief, but I still experienced episodes every few weeks.  I have since quit taking the Zantac and am still experiencing the problem.  Meat and fast eating do seem to bring the episodes on, but sometimes I can just be drinking something and it will happen (though usually not as severe).
Is this something normally assiociated with hiatial hernia, or might I have something else wrong?
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Looks like I'm in the right site.I've had "gastritis" for 5 years now. I was on Prilosec for about 8 months at first. It relieved heartburn-like symptoms, but that was the least of my discomfort. Mostly, I have terrible gas, spasms and pain in my entire abdominal area, centering around the duodenum . An endoscopy revealed a hiatal hernia and some minor esophagitis, but didn't account for the degree of discomfort.  Eventually, I went off Prilosec and stayed off for 3-4 years. I never lost the symptoms, but it didn't seem to make much difference when I went off Prisolec. Symptoms vary from mild discomfort to unbearable. Feels like a cattle prod to the duodenum.  Stress does seem to exacerbate the problem. However, there are times when I'm totally not stressed and I still have the symptoms. Recently, the symptoms became more severe and I developed higher spasms that may be esophogeal. I get them if I sniff in hard, (which suggests that it might be my diaphragm.), when I move suddently. or sit down hard.   I'm  on Prilosec again, but I don't think it's helping very much.  This is all terribly uncomfortable. Any suggestions?
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A few notes for those suffering from esophogeal disorders. I was diagnosed with diffuse esophogeal spasm about 6 years ago. It began suddenly one night -- a heart attack like event. The family doctor and GI specialist ran many tests, but I stumped them all for about 2 years. An expert at a major research hospital finally diagnosed it after 2 days of testing. The issue was compounded by rapid stomach emptying. The solutions were diltiazem (smooth muscle relaxant used for high blood pressure, but with some side effects worth considering) for the spasms, and apple pectin (health food store tablets) for the fast food problem. After about 3 months, it took effect, and both spasms and a long-time problem with irratable bowel went away. I have problems rarely now. So, be encouraged.

I now have an unusual related phenonomenon. On most days in the mid-morning, I experience an acid taste in my mouth, accompanied by facial sweating. The sweating is as if I had eaten very spicy food. The over the counter pepcids, etc. have some effect. Any thoughts about the vagal nerve connection with the facial sweating. It has stumped all of the physicians and the naturopath.

Best wishes.
Mark
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I've recently had my gallbladder removed ( Dec. 10 ) for something called a "strawberry gallbladder". They found 3 stones and lots of what the Dr. called sandy/gravel-like bits that are supposed to eventually clear themselves out. The problem is I still get some very intense waves/spasms of what feels like a shot of adrenalin or something. They seem to come and go quickly and randomly and occur around the sternum area. It almost feels like my heart is stopping or something. I really notice it if I bend over or turn my body a certain way or even breathing sometimes. It's NOT anxiety and that I'm positive about. The Dr. says its cardial spasm? I too, like so many of you have been told this is all in my head and his advice to me was to "get on with it". I am very concerned and fear for my life as I have been dealing with this for over a year now. It's starting to get worse and more intense than ever. I know my body and I know this isn't in my head. I had to beg for the test that diagnosed my gallbladder problem.
I wonder about my bile ducts and pancreas? This is so depressing to me and I'm starting to wonder when and if I'll get my life back. I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thank-you.
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Seems to be quite a few of us with esophageal disorders. Anybody know of a support group, website or bulletin board for this? Any of you interested in setting one up so we can exchange info on treatment: what works and what doesn't?  Judging from the responses to this one question there would be no shortage of willing participants.  Have browsed the archives and numerous queries there also re; esophageal disorders.  After 4-5 years of progressively worsening symptoms would seem that esophageal dismotility is my problem.  Would like to be in touch with others suffering in same area. My email is;
***@****
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I have been diagnoised with gerd recently when I went to my MD because I could hardly swallow solid food. I had the problem for about 2yrs. and it got progressively worse. He prescribed prevacid for 8 weeks which helped but the condition has not gone away. I have been on norvasc(calcium channel blocker) for about 3yrs. now for high blood pressure. I have read that there is a relation between GERD and norvasc as the med. slows stomach emptying. Does anyone know a solution to this problem? Thank You.
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Hello all

Its comforting to know that I'm not alone.

34 years old and fit.  I am a Network Manager, and the run up to Y2K was so stressful that I am now suffering from reflux, the doc prescribed losec 20mg.  This has eased things, but the worst thing is the tight feeling in my throat, does anyone know how I can get rid of it.  On a return visit to the doc I was told to take 40mg of losec but this makes me feel fuzzy so I dropped back to 20mg.  From the comments I have read anti depressants might seem an option, is there an alternative.  Do I have to suffer this for ever?.  Despite the NHS I still had to pay for a GI.

Many Thanks
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Hi, fellow esphogeal spasm sufferers. Can anybody tell me what's causing my trouble, which is not so much constant belching, but constantly WANTING to belch. It drives me nuts day and night, wakes me up around 2 or 3 am with this awful pressure under my breastbone or deep in my stomach and a tormenting urge to belch. I walk around for an hour or so, go outside for fresh air, swallow a slice of bread, try alka seltza or baking soda (which sometimes works but often doesn't), go out in the garage and mess around opening and closing drawers of nails and screws etc. on the workbench - anything to take my mind off the need to belch. Eventually, it WILL come up, but oh, the agony of waiting! It used to be that once I had belched I felt tremendous relief and could go back to sleep. But over the last few years the condition has become progressively worse. One belch is not sufficient. It brings relief for but a short while. Then I feel the flatulence returning and I need to belch again. And so it goes on, daytime as well. Docs I've seen hv no answer. "We've reached the end of the road," one gastroenterologist told me after trying me on Propulsid, Prilosec. Reglan, Zantac and various antacids and other medications, performing endoscopies, ordering motility studies, sticking tubes up my nose and down my esophagus into my stomach, and then a tube directly into my stomach. I agree so much with ejay (Jan 30) about the doc and his "swallowing air" diagnosis. I was told that too, and like ejay, I thought: "How come I suddenly start swallowing air at this stage of my life?" In any case, my trouble was NEEDING to belch. I must conclude by mentioning that I had my left lung removed back in l987. Of course, everybody seizes on that as the answer. It's true everything has shifted over as a result and my esophagus is bent. The only trouble, I have to tell people,is that the need-to-belch problem came a year BEFORE my lung surgery. It started in 1986, following a heart attack, when I underwent an angioplasty. A couple of weeks later, I was writing in my diary: "Hard to belch," and a few days later: "Still having difficulty belching. That's when it started. Anybody out there got any answers? At least, are there any fellow sufferers? I'd love to know.
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Oh My Gosh, it seems every one of these messages fits me....I thought I was the only one out there with the need to burp, a feeling of a food stuck in my esphogus and chest pain.....I am currently on Prilosec, which doesn't seem to do much....and prozac...which I wish would kick in soon.   Has anyone found out for sure if this is esphogus spasms?  If so, can be done?
can email me at ***@****
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A year ago march I suffered from a bad cold which left me fighting with acid reflux. I had sinus drainage for a while which
caused my eyes to dry up from all of the sinus medicine. For the reflux they tried me on Prevacid ,that seemed to work a little but didn't relieve my heartburn,so I asked my doctor to put me on
prilosec to relieve my heartburn! But after a year of being oon this medicine I started having severe headaches and didn't seem to be helping. They even put me on a double dose for three months.
After that I was told to play with it!Well I started to feel good and decided to put myself on one prilosec a day! Well my symptoms became worse,since I have been putting up with a terrible swelling in my throat and glands that doesnt seem to want to leave me. Well now I was told that I have a Globus sensation in my neck and Iam afraid it won't leave me. Because other wise Iam
a very bubbly person. I'am now taking Prevacid in the Morning for
my acid reflux and Desyrel at night for my supposed globus sensation.Can anyone tell me if I stay on the desyrel any certain lenght of time that I will feel better! Thank you for listening.
                             Julie
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Incredible. I've been to other sites like this, and can't believe the numbers of people with the same or similar problems. Is there a new disease state, as yet unnamed, emerging here? I too have had the belching/spasms/weight loss/debilitation/arrhythmias so many have talked about. I can say this. The arrythmias seem to be caused by gas pressure on the paracardium. Either through the upward pressure exerted on the diaphragm, or by abdominal cavity gas (air) passing through the hiatus into the chest. I've had all the tests, over 2 years of this...after literally waking up with it one day, after a bout of food poisoiong. hPylori, c.Difficil, parasites, liver/ galbladder (Dishida/CCK), CT Scan, panic tests followed ad nauseum. Many doctors, much money. Swallowing air is so common, or panic, as a diagnosis and seems absurd. Never the less I had a swallow test by a Speech therapist that showed no (or little) air going down. They did see food getting stuck in the esophagus, but they said..."oh we see that all the time now...don't know why it happens". I know how you all feel. I went through the massage/chiro/herbal/accupuncture/homeopathic routes as well...not much help. Finally I decided to pursue the hernia repair, as a hernia showed up on a manometry/ph test/endoscopy. Just had it done last week so the jury is still out. So far I feel worse. But in order to affect the repair they fill you with air to make space for their instruments (laproscopic)...and so now I have all this air in me and it can take weeks to dissipate. I found the CFS distention idea intriguing. I may look into that as I hadn't heard of it before..if this doesn't work. As the hernia was the only thing ever diagnosed...I figured as a process of elimination (so to speak) I better give it a try. For nausea...I would suggest a homeopathic remedy called Carbo Veg. 6X. Seems to help a lot...which the reglan never did. I'll keep checking in. See if anything new comes up...and let you know how the repair is doing...helping. I did, by the way, also do hormone therapy. It did seem to help for a bit and then stopped...but was very expensive. Though it may have helped me put back 15 lbs. after losing 40. rHGH and a transdermal pre-curser cream set me back $400 week. Was also on Cortef for adrenal therapy...which I wouldn't recommend, unless you've had an adrenal insufficency diagnosis. But I'd recommend a complete hormone work up. Generally when the body is under so much 'inescapable' physical/(and emotional) stress from these ongoing problems...the endocrine system can start to be affected adversely. It's a cascade effect. Final thought...I haven't yet seen anyone mention the idea of the vagal nerve action being compromised by mercury leaching into the bdy through dental fillings. This was a popular idea for a while...but very difficult to prove, over at Dr. Stoll's site. I have many fillings...and some are very old. But I haven't felt up to getting them taken care of...soon I hope. And keep in mind...even if a tropic system problem isn't responsible. The effects of the strain this puts on the body definately means it could come into play later as a secondary effect. Stress of all kind is stored in the hypocampus...and needs to be relieved through adequate rest and exercise...if possible. A multi-angular approach may be needed by us all at this point. Addressing a single issue will probably not get it done.
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Hi, this is to B. and everyone else out there that's suffering, not just from the miserable physical symptoms of these related conditions, but also from the frustration of the time and expense of trying to get help figuring out what is wrong.  B., just wanted you to know I haven't forgotten you, & hope things are going well.  What are you trying currently?  I have been very blue lately because of the constant pain.  So far just taking Prilosec, which helped on the first go-around but this time seems to be doing nothing.  I see the dr. again at the end of this month and have no idea what he'll want to try this time.  I am just so sick of feeling crappy and always having to tell my kids "no" to stuff because I don't feel good.  My chest just kills me pretty much around the clock -- I've known for a couple of years that I had GERD, but I took ginger for a couple of years and it was like a miracle for me.  It started to quit working back in Oct., so I started taking more antacids again, and by mid-Dec., I was in very bad shape -- feel half like I'm going to puke all the time, plus the terrible pain in my chest -- it may have started out as heartburn, but now it feels more like a massive charlie horse or like I've been hit with a sledge hammer.  It also goes up into my throat and down my arm.  It was so bad last night that today my right arm is actually weak.  I can't believe this is just GERD -- if that's all it is, shouldn't the Prilosec be helping?  I, too, have the lump-in-the-throat sensation and feel like the esophagus is very tight and food doesn't want to go down.  (It obviously is -- it's very weird, but as crummy as I feel, I've gained about 20 lbs. since this started.  Dr. thought it might be ulcers, as often ulcers cause weight gain as people eat & eat in an unconscious effort to relieve pain.  The weight gain has not improved my mood!)  I'll stay in touch and let you know what he comes up with.  I am disgusted!  This has been going on for almost half-a-year, and I've gotten no relief.  I don't blame my dr.; I know they start with the simplest thing and work from there, so it's time consuming, but I'd really like to feel good again without having to go bankrupt in the process.  I know everyone has been there.  I read everyone's postings, so I feel for you all.  I wanted to let Bob know my sister also has an inability to belch, but she's had it all her life.  I think it's a lot milder than yours, but she will not drink anything carbonated, etc., to avoid that feeling -- it hurts really bad, and all she can do is either huddle in a chair or walk around 'til the sensation passes.  Sometimes as she's walking, she'll feel like vomiting, but it doesn't happen.  If you ever find something that helps you, please post it so I can pass it on to her.  Incidentally, I had my gallbladder out three years ago -- after all the time spent trying to find out what was causing this pain (was treated for ulcers twice due to a borderline H. pylori -- this time it was neg. but dr. is still not convinced due to my problem with panic.  I know my chest pain is very different than that which I had when the panic was at its worst), it was on the verge of rupture.  Sometimes I get sharp, stabbing pain (like being impaled) under my right ribs, just like I did when my g.b. was going bad -- makes me wonder if there is any connection.  Also, I read somewhere in here that whole-husk psyllium is supposed to be great for heartburn/reflux.  I have not been able to find it anywhere (only ground) -- anyone know where I can find some?  I've heard a lot of bad things about Prilosec and don't want to have to be on it for years.  I'm certainly not opposed to standard medical treatments -- I know some of them really work -- but I'd prefer to do it naturally if possible.  To a couple of people who have been told they need to take an anti-depressant for their "globus hystericus," or whatever the h. it is -- I'm sure it doesn't work for everybody (nothing does), but I have heard that it really does work, so if it's something that really bugs you (I think it was Malcolm who said his tight throat was driving him ape-blank) and you can afford it, it sure would be worth a try.  My thoughts and prayers are with y'all!  When you're laying there at night unable to sleep due to pain/discomfort/frustration, you can at least know you're not the only one.  I hate for anybody to suffer, but knowing I'm not alone is a big comfort.  Take care.
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Hi Reyna - Just seen yr msge. Pse pass my sympathies to yr sister. Afraid I hvn't found any regular cure yet - nothing apart from (occasionally) Alka Seltza or baking soda, or, in moments of extreme desperation, sticking a finger down my throat, despite docs advising against it. Yes, I've had Prilosec for heartburn. Ranitidine costs less, I believe. Some time ago a doc prescribed high doses of Prilosec and Propulsid (20mg of each 3 times a day I think). I was free for over a week, and thought I was cured. But it all came back again and with more frequency than before. I'll pass on anything more I learn that might be useful Best of luck  
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I have suffered from food getting stuck in my estopegous for almost 10 yrs.  I was diagnosed with gerd cronic (chronic) estopgitis,cronic (chronic) gasteristis, irritable bowl sindrome (syndrome),and spastic colon.  I also have been diagnosed withe arthritis, diabetes, raynauds, and fibromyalgia.  I have had 8 dialations in the last 2 years.  It helps for about 2 months and I'm back for more.  I have had surgery called a half nissen to correct the hernia and acid reflux.  Now I can never throw up again.  Last Thursday I had my 8th dialation along with a colonoscopy.  I was not out or without pain through both procedures, I have decided I would rather die than ever go through that kind of pain again.  It didn't help that if I made noise I was told to be quiet, and when I cried I was told there was no cause for crying.  I have been through hell my whole life and have learned to live with pain, but this was beyond pain, it was torture.  If I had been a prisioner of was I would of been able to screem and cry during the torture and they would of loved it.  I didn't even have that right.  I don't even know which way to turn anymore, My medicines cost more than 2 and 1 half weeks of my husbands paycheck. HELP  HELP  HELP
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Hello, I am a 35 y.o female I have recently experienced severe case of nausea that lasted for about a month it was caused by stomach virus. Now I 've having a new problem that has me very worry and I wonder if anyone else out there experience this symptom. The best way I can describe it is like a contraction/spasm right under my breast bone that sometimes knocks my wind off like a thumping. It only lasts for about a second or two but is scarry because for that second is like I can't breath and immediatly after that I have to take a deep breath. my doctor told me not to worry and gave prilosec as he thinks is acid reflux. I have only taken it for a couple days and I still have this happen at least once or twice a day. Its not painful but rather scary. Any ideas? or sugestions? Please help.
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Michelle,
I've had GERD for 13 years and the symptoms you're having are the same as mine.  I am 33 years old.
I have lately been going through a horrible 4 day (spasm) attack with reflux and lower abdominal pain.
I have prilosec, but havn't picked it up at the pharmacy (husband is going to get it now)! But we bought some pepsid a.c last night and it helped for only about 2 hours.
I want to share what my symptoms are like for all of you,
Shortness of breath, pain in center of stomach, belching (i can pretty much belch on command), and bloating.
Those are the major symptoms i have.  I weigh only about 120 pounds, but have been losing weight also. I have low thyroid.
I've been trying to stay away from pepper and coffee!!
I love both of them, but this pain is excruciating and i must do something.
I started having shortness of breath about 6 years ago, and thought it was something with my lungs, but after all the tests, i was told it was just reflux.
As reyna said, It is nice to find a place to come to and to also know that we're not in this alone...
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My son has a gagging problem.  For the last 6 weeks, every week or so he goes through episodes of gagging.  At first we thought maybe he had the stomach flu and was dry heaving.   Now that it has happened 4 different times about a week apart we have ruled out flu.     He is 12 years old.  He describes his gagging as a burp that doesn't have air, or as a gag reflex that would come from sticking your finger down your throat.   Each time this happens he is gagging over the toilet for about a half hour to an hour and shivering.  We are pretty frustrated.

I'm a new internet user and hope I can find this web again so I can get responses from you.   Thanks


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Has anyone been able to correlate episodes of esophageal spasm with certain, specific items of food or drink?  If so what?  Vinegar, garlic or cayenne seem to be involved for me, even though it does not happen very often.  Thanks.
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I'm am having what seems to be esophegeal spasams. I have a tightening of my chest, and middle area. It almost feels as if there is a balloon in my middle area and is expanding. My question is how do i prevent it if there is a way?If not is their a way to easy the pain and pressure.
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Hi 25 year old male needs advice about 4 months ago i got rushed to hospital cause i had a so called allergic attack where my throat or" boxing glove thingy "hanging in back of mouth got so swollen it effected my breathing it finnally went away but i was left with a flemmy throat feeling all the time and i guess i developed a feeling of panic every time i felt my throat getting worse i basically couldnt breath "****** feeling" went to numerous ent specialist they all came up with acid reflux to anxiety disorder but treated me with no medication but to forget about it and give it time, now its been chronic syptoms (symptoms) but most annoying is the feeling of throat closing and flemmy frog feeling in throat it sucks because i feel like i cant breathe and panic,all the specialist i went to said these problems should go away on their own and if it is acid reflux causing it im to young to treat and will go away .Now 4 months later i still have feeling in throat and have good days and bad days i have no where to turn i never had a health problems till now and im basically scared **** and any advice will be much appreciated  Please email me at ***@****
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For two years I had suffered with what I was told was diffuse esophageal spasm. It came on one night after exercising and I thought at first I was having a heart attack. My symptoms were a terrible crushing feeling directly under my breastbone. The last attack that I had lasted 10 hours and I wanted to die.  I had been through many evasive tests all to no avail. One day I requested an ultrasound to rule out gall bladder.  I was told my symptoms were not like that of a gall bladder attack. Well sure enough, Gallsones! I have had my Gallbladder removed and now I am pain free after 2 years of agony. Unfortunately, many of you do probably have DES, but demand that they check for stones. Keep looking for an answer!
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Hi, this is to Odevious (sorry, didn't know what else to call you!).  This is just to let you know that even if we can't help in a concrete manner, you've come to the right place to at least find people that give a damn and understand suffering.  I have been amazed again and again by the level of compassion complete strangers have shown one another, me included, and I have really appreciated it.  I just really feel for you in your fear in not knowing what is going on and in your frustration in trying to get help.  I also (for other reasons) know what it's like to feel like you can't breathe.  I know how terrible it is, and my heart goes out to you.  So I just wanted you to know someone saw your message and cared.  Please let us know if you get some help/relief -- I will remember you in my prayers and will be hoping for the best.  Reyna (I'm the one who feels like I've been slugged in the chest [repeatedly :) ] with a sledge hammer!)
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I'm no expert, but as I forgot to mention above, if your doctors are telling you you're too young to treat, either for anxiety or for reflux (look at all the kids mentioned in this forum that are being treated!), they're full of ****.  It's obvious this isn't (yet) going away on its own, so if you're able (hope you are, but I KNOW what a drag [not to mention drain on the wallet] it can be), do try to find another dr.  Unfortunately they are few and far between, but there are some good ones out there.  GOOD LUCK!  Also, Bob, thanks for your suggestions for my sister; appreciated you taking the time to respond.
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It is so comforting to know there are others who are experiencing similar symptoms as myself.  I went into emergency last Wed night wondering if I was having a heart attack but it turned out to be a esophogus spasm. I too have that feeling of chocking in my throat that won't go away and flu like symptoms. (achiness)
The cardiolist at the hospital suggested to my family doctor that I have a barium swallow test with contrast dye however I am extremely allergic to contrast dye so I don't want one done.
Does anyone know of a procedure that can be done with this test?
  Also has anyone had the flu shot last fall and been sick ever since, I can't help but think there might be a connection as the 2nd of Jan I came down with the flu and the end of Jan developed these problems with the throat.  Just a suspicion. Would appreciate any input.  Thanks.
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Re: Esophageal spasms

I have been suffering shortness of breath, pain in URQ, back pain, painful shallow burps, poor sleep, pain at breastbone when bending over, pain down at bottom of esophagus when swallowing. After many negative tests that you all seems to have had, I beleive it is a hiatal hernia causing GERD, in turn causing asthma.

But what led to this self-diagnosis was a spasmodic discomfort at the lower esophageal sphincter. Quite by accident I found that CAYENNE PEPPER caused the spasms to cease. And the relief is immediate. I am not advocating its use for any condition, but its interesting how the medical community is ignorant about the benefits of cayenne. In any case, those who feel the spasms down at the LES might try a little cayenne pepper mixed with water and drink it down. Suprisingly, it doesn't aggravate my other gastro problems.
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My problem is as follows About two years ago I started to suffer with this pain in my upper stomach area with a need to belsh but could not belsh very paunful after 3 months of suffering it started to ease up also had every test done i started to drink warm water with lemon and it helped two weeks ago the pain started to come back and I am getting very depressed over this the warm water does not help like it used to it just takes a little longer My husband thinks that every time there is stressful time in my life this acts up does that mean I should go on medication for stress  No one has the answer Does some one have the answer or I will take your input.
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I have been suffering from esophageal spasm for about 6 weeks now.  Feels intermitently like I have a golf ball stuck in my chest and at times like a bowling ball is sitting on my chest. This was all brought on after drinking grape juice. I have difficulty eating and I have lost about 15 pounds.  I am constantly going to the E.R. to relieve symptoms. There is some speculation that this started from Reflux, even though I was taking Prilosec at the time.  They doubled my dose of Prilosec and I had a severe allergic reaction ( Rash/hives, and severe stomach cramping)
The Calcium channel blockers do nothing to help. Tried ativan to relax the muscle but made me like a zombie, switched to buspar, also had an allergic reaction (rash) Now, I take Prevacid to control the reflux, mass quantities of donnatal for the spasm, and ativan to allow me to sleep at night.  I have started losing hope that this will ever go away and have become severly depressed. sometimes suicidal.  My life was great before this happened, but know I feel like I just can't live like this. Can anyone suggest foods that can been eaten or other treatments that have worked?
I just recently saw a chiropractor who thinks I may have a Magnesium defiency. Apparently there is some connection between calcium and magnesium absorption.  I wonder how the calcium channel blockers relate to this?  If there's anyone out there that is going through this and has suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.
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My poor fellow sufferers, how my heart goes out to you.  Wish there was more I could do.  This message is for John S., but Laura, I just want to say please hang in there.  I know what it's like to have your life completely yanked out from under you, and I know it's really hard to have patience, especially when you're in constant pain.  I know how tiring it is, but don't give up -- try to have hope.  While it doesn't help the physical pain/discomfort, it has done a lot for my spirits to know I am not in this alone, and even when the drs. have no answers, I know I can always find people who care at this site.  Stay with us while we all hang in there together -- eventually we'll find something that helps, and we need to share the info!  Let us know how you're doing, OK?  God bless!  Now, John, I was really interested in what you had to say about cayenne pepper.  It's not the first time I've heard it mentioned as being really good for digestive problems, and I know stuff like that works, as ginger helped me so much for such a long time.  I'd like to know what kind you got, where, how much you put in how much water, when you find it best to drink it, and (being the pain wimp that I am), does it hurt going down?  If you could answer those questions for me, I'd really appreciate it, as I'd like to try it (the phrase "immediate relief" definitely got my attention!)  Hope you see this fairly soon, I'll be waiting!  Thanks a lot -- Reyna
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To Reyna;
Hadn't visited this site for a while and when I saw your post I felt bad that you might have been waiting a long while for a response - but, lo & behold, twas only yesterday. Good timing.

My first clue was trying to discover what made me feel so much better when I awoke vastly improved some weeks ago. I went about replicating what I had done the day before hoping to identify some magic bullet. By 10 PM I had repeated everything from the day before without success - until I zeroed in on what I ate the night before: a clam chowder spiced heavily with a spice primarily consisting of cayenne. Suspecting cayenne was the key, I simply took a dash (maybe about 1/16 tsp) and mixed it with some herbal tea I was drinking.

The spasms I had experienced since dinner ceased immediately. The cayenne I used was your run-of-the-mill - Spice Islands cayenne which more than likely is east-Indian. Real afficiandos rate the peppers and the medicinal element is capsacian (sp?).

I don't take the cayenne as a regular thing, partly due to the ongoing diagnoses being done. Since I last posted, the drs. have determined I have been suffering GERD, hiatal hernia, esophageal ulcers, and some stomach irregularities yet to be determined. I have spoken to some people who have had their hiatal hernia surgically corrected and had most of their symptoms cured immediately - in particular the shortness of breath and chest pain.

If you want to try it, try a small amount to start. Take 4 oz of water in a glass and put a dash of cayenne in mix it thoroughly to avoid clumps which might stick on the way down. It does slilghtly burn the mouth and esophagus, but merely following with more plain water smoothes things out.

Precisely what the cayenne does is unclear. It has has pain-killing qualities, stimulates circulation, and apparently aids in digestion. What it did for me is also unclear but it seemed to stop what felt was spasms in my LES and sealed my stomach off from the esophagus.

I'll be most interested in your results. Good luck.
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This is a comment for Carol Bond.

I have had a similar experience with the colonoscopy procedure.  I too, felt as if the doctors were enjoying the torture they were putting me through.  That was a different problem I was having four years ago.

The problem I am having now, they are relating to esophageal spasm.  I have lost 20 pounds, can't eat, drink, work, sleep, drive, or anything.  I feel like my life is over and I'm only 27.

What I am wondering is how do you think your Fibromyalgia relates to your G.I. symptoms.  It has recently been suggested by a couple of doctors that I might have fibromyalgia, and I am wondering if it could be involved in my problem, as well.
I would appreciate any comments or suggestions you have on this matter.

My email address is ***@****
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An update on what has been helping me a little. I went to a naturalpath doctor and he put me on licorice root extract pills which I crush as they are chewable and add them to herbal tea, and that has made a difference for me. I went off of it for awhile to see if it would make a difference and the spasm in the throat and heartburn returned.  Also I learned that caffeine is a culprit for making it worse.  I also take garlic and cayenne drops but for me it didn't do too much, but it obviously works for some people.  My doctor also says this condition is caused by stress.  Mayby the licorice might help someone here.
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Bonnie,

Your doctors telling you that this is stress related is probably a bunch of ****!  Many times that's the doctors answer to something that they don't know how to fix.  If you were not a stressed out person before you started having your symptoms, it is highly unlikely that stress is the cause of the problem and definitely more likely that stress is a result of the problem!

Another thing is that sometimes garlic and cayenne can actually make the problem worse!

It's hard not to get discouraged, but somewhere out there is a doctor who will believe that you have real symptoms.  Unfortunately they don't have a whole lot of answers, as far as treatment is concerned.  obviously you've found the right place to vent your frustration. There are a lot of people who are going throught the same thing and can sympathize.  I am also going to try homeopathy, but at the same time I am also seeing a doctor at UCLA.

Just as Reyna says, try not to give up, hold on to your hope.  Support from loved ones makes it easier to hang on.

Good luck to you!

Laura,  ***@****
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For years I have experienced the belching syndrome.  It is much improved now as I have changed my diet.  My wife started using the Suzane Sommers diet, actually a better way of eating, and it improved my problem.  The diet has something to do with the digestive process of different foods.  Essentially different foods digest at different rates.  Eat the right foods at the same time and your problems minimize.  Check it out.
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Hi. In 97' I was diagnosed with a peptic ulcer due to taking the medication Lodine-(ate my stomach lining). That healed, and in 98' I developed another ulcer directly across from the first one that I had. That healed. (I also had higher than moderate stress in my life at this time-went through a divorce & was laid off in the same year)In Sept of 99', I went to the E.R. with terrible pains radiating from the center of my chest. I knew that it was esophagus/stomach related.They ran tests to rule out any heart issues-none. They told me it was esophagitis. I went to my regular doctor-he gave me enough prilosec for a month.Since then,I have been experiencing: some infrequent reflux, constant burping, and on one occasion, I had taken a small bite of a pancake and it got stuck in my esophagus. I experience no vomiting. I can feel the acid churning at times. I'm scheduled for an endoscopy within the next week (used to it by now), and on medication to reduce acid. The doctor suggests that I might have strictures?? Would like to hear from anyone who's been there. Good luck to everyone!
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I was wondering if anyone can help me with this.   Whenever I drink or eat something cold I get a pain on the left side of my chest.
Is this an esophogeal spasm?  When it first happened a year or so ago the doctor said it was reflux and I was given Prilosec.  It did seem to
help and after taking it for several weeks the symptoms disappeared.  Now nearly a year later they are back and the Prilosec doesn't
seem to be helping this time.  Any ideas?
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I first experienced the horrible pain of an eshopageal spasm about 15 years ago.  I went to the emergency room, and they thought I was having a heart attack, although at the time I did not realize that that was what I was being tested for.  Finally the ER Dr. gave me a small cup of light green liquid, and as soon as I drank it, like a miracle, the intense, almost unbearable pain ceased.  It was Donnatol and liquid antiacid.  I went to a G.I Dr. and was told I was having esophogeal spasms.  I was also in a very stressful time of my life...and later a very awful divorce.  I think I must have drunk at least a gallon of anti acid during this time.  I do not have any burning sensation..no acid reflux.  This has not bothered me for nearly 10 years; however recently I have started to experience the start of a spasm.  The last Dr.gave me a prescription for Hyoscyamine (generic for Levsin) to put under my tongue.  The only thing that seems to help is hot water and antiacid...the hot water seems to relax the spasm.  This pain is debilatating.......so extremely painful.  I had gall bladder removed via laporoscopy.....easy surgery, but not the best end results.  Wonder if I should consider surgery for this??  I am 63 years old, and very overweight, but losing.
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Hi.  I am 28 years old and I have been diagnosed with liver disease.  Unlike a lot of stories I have read, I have a problem with nausea.  I had the pH test done and I know my esophagus doesn't work like it should.  Does/has anyone else experienced the nausea?

Thanks.
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First off, I wanted to thank you, John S., for your cayenne "recipe!"  I wanted to take the time to give it a fair trial, and here's what's happened so far:  The first time I tried it, it worked like a charm.  I was in an ecstasy of hope.  Since then, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  I have no idea what causes the difference in results, since I take it for the same symptom -- the intense, miserable, cramp-like pain in my chest.  You'd think that if the same thing was causing the pain, the same thing would alleviate it every time, but no such luck.  Still, I'm grateful that it works sometimes; I'll continue to use it (doesn't aggravate any of my other gastro. problems, either, and I know it's good for the body in general); and I surely appreciate you passing the info. along.  Thanks a lot, and all the best to you.  Now, Anieka -- I don't have any knowledge personally that might help you, but I wondered if you'd checked the other areas of this forum -- I think there are a few places where the subject specifically is nausea.  As far as I know, my liver is OK, but before my dr. switched me from Prilosec to a higher dose of Prevacid, which has helped me a lot, I was sick to my stomach (along with the horrible chest pain) practically around the clock, so I can really sympathize.  Good luck.  Finally...this is weird!  On my last trip to the dr. (I wonder how many times I've sent him to Hawaii by now?  He's a good guy, but gee, I'd sure like to be able to go myself sometime!), he told me he thinks I have...fibromyalgia!  I knew I had very achy muscles and joints, but I didn't think there was any connection between that and the chronic G.I. problems.  Now I see that it's been mentioned a few times by people who have both, and that makes me REALLY wonder.  Looking back, it does seem like the severe fatigue and achiness set in about the same time as the horrible pain in my chest.  It's interesting.  Anyone have any ideas?  I'll keep my eyes open for info. regarding a possible link, too.  Take care, all.
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I have been experiencing mainly Shortness of breath -- seems not getting enough air, together with symptoms of throat/upper chest discomfort (feels like the choking feeling you get after strenous exercise). It usually stays long for hours at least, everyday for almost 2 months now. I even get this feeling after only a hot shower. The problem is, this symptoms is WORSE when lying down with my neck flexed (like lying on the sofa watching TV) or when I get my upper chest area squeezed (like when you turn the body from side to side). I have chest pain also, more on the right, but sometimes left and substernal. Plus Back pain. Feels there is a big lump compression the middle of chest -- that's what i am scared of. I now feel nauseaous too.
I am pretty worried esp for my shortness of breath. Sinister Lung problem or related?
Anything to do with GI problem?
Need great help from anyone.
I am getting so depressed and anxious.
pls email me: ***@****
Many thanks.

-J
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My mother has had lots of problems with burning in her chest and throat she thought she was having a heart attack snad took nitro and it made it go away for awhile for several years whe has had trouble swallowing but nothing was found after lots of tests including ones to see if it was her heart today the doctor told her he thought she had esophigeal spasms what can be done for this shortness of breath and burning in her chest and throat, she also has lost about 25 lbs.
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my problem is not as severe as what i have just read above, but it is bothersome. for the past 20 years or so, i have experienced difficulty in swallowing, sometimes occasionally, sometimes frequently. the problem occurs when eating. what will happen is that during the course of a meal, food will get stuck in my esophagus. normally, it will either pass (less often), or i will have to cough it up. food will not come  from the stomach.i will usually be able to begin eating again. however, on occasion,coughing up the blockage will not solve the problem and i will not be able to swallow anything solid or fluid unto the following day. my breathing is not affected. what's going on?
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my problem is not as severe as what i have just read above, but it is bothersome. for the past 20 years or so, i have experienced difficulty in swallowing, sometimes occasionally, sometimes frequently. the problem occurs when eating. what will happen is that during the course of a meal, food will get stuck in my esophagus. normally, it will either pass (less often), or i will have to cough it up. food will not come  from the stomach.i will usually be able to begin eating again. however, on occasion,coughing up the blockage will not solve the problem and i will not be able to swallow anything solid or fluid unto the following day. my breathing is not affected. what's going on?
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my problem is not as severe as what i have just read above, but it is bothersome. for the past 20 years or so, i have experienced difficulty in swallowing, sometimes occasionally, sometimes frequently. the problem occurs when eating. what will happen is that during the course of a meal, food will get stuck in my esophagus. normally, it will either pass (less often), or i will have to cough it up. food will not come  from the stomach.i will usually be able to begin eating again. however, on occasion,coughing up the blockage will not solve the problem and i will not be able to swallow anything solid or fluid unto the following day. my breathing is not affected. what's going on?
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I get esophageal spasms whenever I eat chicken or turkey, especially dry chicken or turkey meat, although occasionally other foods cause it. Usually a drink of very cold water or other liquid relaxes it, although tonight I had an especially bad episode and I couldn't force the water down for about 10 minutes.  Once I got it down, the spasms disappeared.
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I have been reading this forum with interest...especially as two days ago, I encountered difficulty...again...with swallowing. I had been doing really well. My question to those of you who have had an endoscopy is this...can they do it while you are knocked out? I started to have one done several years ago, panicked, and walked out without having had it done. I guess what scares me most is that I will choke either from the endoscopy procedure itself, or from an accumulation of saliva...couldn't swallow it cause they numbed my throat.

If you tell me it can be done that way...knocking me out, I will be more inclined to have it done. Guess I just need reassurance that I will not choke to death.

Thanks
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Well, it certainly a relief to know that I'm not the only one. This started with me about the beginning of last December. At least I remember feeling fine in November so I assume that was when it started. What started me off was the "lump in the throat" feeling. Went to a family dr. "You might be starting an infection in there." 10 days of antibiotics. No relief. Was referred on to an ENT and discovered that I had/have an enlarged thyroid for which I take levo-thyroxine every day. In the meantime a barely noticeable "sensation" in my upper abdomen, just at the bottom of my breastbone was becoming worse, along with the increasing need to belch. Was referred to a GI. Underwent ultrasound, all normal, and endoscopy for which I was (thankfully, after reading some of the "horror" stories here) sedated. Normal except for some upper GI inflammation which although I was never told I believe must've been H. pylori since I was then put on the indicated anti-biotics. After that, still had the belching, still had the "tightness" in the chest (no way can I dignify it by callin it "pain;" more of a discomfort,)and still had the "lump in throat so then had a barium swallow. My GI Dr. *insists* that these symptoms can not be attributed to hiatal hernia, and that I am swallowing air (again, like, I just started this after 43 years????) Could these tests (endoscopy, barium swallow) miss a hiatal hernia? Some months previously to the beginning of this problem I was *heavily* into fitness and was doing close to 100 sit-ups/crunches several times a week. And had made an abortive effort to get back into shape a short time before all of this started. Wondering if I "injured" something. I must say I am *not* happy that it looks like this is going to be an ongoing problem!
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I have just stumbled onto this site and maybe someone has an answer for me. Yesterday, while sitting at my desk at work, I was struck with a horrible pain at the base of my breastbone. It lasted a minute or so only to return again - about 4 times within a 30 minute period. During that time, I felt a need to belch thinking that would help and also had little quick, knife like pain between my shoulders. I had not eaten anything at all before this happened. There were no other symptoms. A friend told me it sounded like an esophageal spasm, but after reading some of the postings, I'm thinking that's not it. Has anyone had anything similar to this? Thanks to anyone who can shed some light.
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Michelle,
I too have the symptom you described.  Every once in a while it feels as if I have a upward thrust into my chest.  I can feel it starting from the top of my stomach.  I described it to my dr as the heimlic maneuver (sp?) happening all by itself.  Mine too only lasts maybe a second or two.  It makes me feel flushed and my heart starts to beat rapidly.  Dr told me when this happens the nerver signals in my esophogus, heart, throat are all connected in some way and that is why it feels as if my heart literally is suspended and then jumps.  I have had several ekg's. holitor monitors, upper gi (which i do have a hiatal hernia), blood pressure checks, stress tests and all proved to be great.  I'm  33 and was diagnosed with panic disorder and depression 3 years ago.  It's very scarey when this happens and when it does I'm usually in a mental funk until I start feeling better.  Does anyone every feel that your esophogus is fluttering?  When I get this flutter I immediately check my pulse and my heart beat is always beating a normal beat.  What gives me piece of mind is that my mother experiences the same symptoms - do I know I'm not crazy.  I would appreciate anyone's  answers.
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Hi, I too have been suffering with what i can only describe as a lumpy feeling in my throat (lower) and pressure in my chest through to by back after I eat.  I also suffer from reflux after meals.  I have recently had a barium swallow and was told the results were completely "normal".  So now what, I have good days and days that are worse.  I am a fit 36 year old mother of four, I wonder if it is brought on by stress.  I also feel as though my heart is almost going faster, kind of like a really strong caffeine buzz.  Heading out for a run now, that seems to help somewhat, at least in the relaxation department.
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Hi Everyone --
     I haven't been by in awhile & thought I'd check in.  Since last I visited, I had an endoscopy done, which for me was an almost pleasurable experience, since the drugs they gave me were so good.  I felt on top of the world & would damn near like to have another!  (Or at least get ahold of some of those drugs!)  Due to my symptoms, the Gastro. I saw was very concerned about Barrett's.  There was evidence of severe GERD, but no cellular changes (thank God), plus, he discovered a hiatal hernia, which surprised me, as the last upper GI I had showed no signs of one (he says in his opinion barium x-rays aren't very reliable).  At the time I saw him, the Prevacid had quit working, and I am now trying out Aciphex.  It's OK...still a lot of mid-to-right chest PAIN, up into throat, down arm, blah blah.  He says if the Aciphex does not help a LOT, I would most likely need surgery, and due to the fact that we just lost our insurance (had to give it up due to criminal doubling of the premiums.  Of course there was no concurrent doubling of benefits or service!), I am not too happy.  I also worry about the surgery itself (laparascopic fundoplectomy or something like that).  I told him I'd read on the Internet that this kind of surgery can make it impossible for a person to burp or barf, and after cursing the Internet and its spewing of "misinformation," he admitted this was true!  So, I'm just wondering if there is anyone out there who has had this kind of surgery, and how they fared afterwards.  If you can't burp, where does the air go?  Do you just bloat miserably?  And if you can't puke...what if you've ingested something toxic that your body NEEDS to rid itself of?  In actuality, I despise vomiting, but after feeling nauseated for a certain period of time, I know basically all you want to do is just heave and get it over with.  Would the inability to puke just leave you with a neverending rolling stomach, writhing and sweating on the bathroom floor?  I dread the thought of that!  If anyone can tell me anything (especially anything positive!), I would sure appreciate it.  Uh-oh, I'd better go -- it's after 1:00 AM and my little ones are up EARLY.  Best to everyone.
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I think I have esophogeal spasm, but it is directly associated with eating.  Sometimes, particularly with restaurant meals (hardly ever at home) I become aware that food is stuck in the esophogas, and it becomes quite painful.  It may stay there for hours.  Trying to eat slowly and just relax seems to help. My doctor has dilated the esophogas several times, but it is no help.  He is a specialist and says  one third of his patients have this condition, but he has been no help.  the drugs he has prescribed  are useless. A friend of mine cured his similar problem by  retiring, and thus removing the stress in his life.  Any ideas??  Any literature or links on this specific problem?
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I have had the symptoms of esophagel spasms off and on for severial years. I thought I had heart problems,but after many tests nothing was found wrong with my heart.  I noticed that when I was given antibiotics for some unrelated problem that I always felt better overall and never had any symptoms related to esophagel spasms.  Septra-DS tablets were by far the best. Some type of bacteria in my stomach is the suspected problem and as long as I take the Septra-DS I feel perfect and can eat anything anytime (I do take Prilosec daily) BUT if I stop taking the antibotics within 48 hours I will begin experiencing symptoms and will have a full blown episode within a week and feel as though I had aged 50 years.  This Web site was very helpful to my understanding of this problem, thanks!
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For Val who expressed concern about arrhythmia.  There is a new procedure used at the Heart Hospital in Austin where the area of the heart that causes the racing is "zapped" in a out-patient procedure.  This brings the problem under control with a high degree of success.

For Ida Lou who posted on Februaty 5, 2000 -  look up the following words on various medical web sites to get a better understanding of "nutcracker esophagus":

             esophageal spasms
             schotsky's ring (really)


For Tammy who posted on February 22nd.  -  Get another doctor!  Find a young one that is a specialist, a Gastroenterologist.

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Esophageal spasm. Mine are intense,unbearable pain, lasting 5 to 10 minutes. 15 minutes between spasms. Lasting 1 to 2 hours or more. They always end with expelling of gas and then watery stools. My theory was this... All of the gastric organs are operating on wave patterns that push food etc. through them. According to my GI doc, they are all on seperate waves.... so the stomach has three sets of seperate and distinct waves to empty itself, and then the small intestine has a series of waves etc.... I noticed that when I had an esoph spasm, my gut went silent,,,, for hours, until the passing of the gas and watery stool and the shazaam,, relief. So, as soon as I start to experience a spasm I use a glycerin enema and empty the colon. This brings an immediate end to the whole ordeal. It is unpleasant, yes, but nothing is as bad as those spasms. I believe that one of my organs, not the stomach because propulsid doesnt help in a spasm, must be shut down, causing a reverberation of the esophagus and a spasm (probably my colon). When I get the colon going,,, everything gets back on track and moving smoothly.  Note, I aslo have had my gallbladder removed and had an endoscopy and was found to have bile backing up into my stomach.... I take a cholesterol lowering pill which in turn absorbs my excess bile and I take 6 fibercon a day to keep things moving and soaked up. The pill is Colestid,, If you have had your gallbladder out it is a MUST. It has reduced my incedence of esoph spasm considerably. I am 34 and otherwise healthy. Hope I have helped.
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For all those with esophagus spasms and trouble with food going down and that feeling of the food being stuck in your throat, look into a condition called "Achalasia".  You can do a search on any search engine to find a few sites about it.  This condition is where the lower sphincter of your esophagus does not open up enough.  This happened to me and after a number of scopes and motility studies, they finally diagnosed my condition as Achalasia.  I had a balloon dilitation done which helped for about 2-3 months but then the pain and symptoms came back.  In Feb. 2000 I had surgery and so far have been about 80-90% better. For many it might be something worth discussing with your docs. It took mine awhile to diagnose it.
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I, too, have severe episodes of esophogeal spasm and the following have helped considerablY:

1.  Less time "mousing" on the computer (yes!... it really has made a difference!)
2.  An ice pack on the back right below the shoulder blades (mostly right side of the spine for me)
3.  Regular Chiropractic care (this has made the most incredible difference!  My Chiropractor uses the 'Activator Method' - call around and find one!).
4.  Nitro also helps as does naproxen sodium for acute pain episodes (Aleve, if you're American - it's over the counter).  If you're Canadian, it's by prescription (or worth visiting a drug store across the border!)
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So there is such a thing as esophageal spasms then.  My daughter was checked for this with an upper G.I. which came back normal.  Is it really possible to see if she isn't having one while being tested.  She explains it as being pain in the chest that burns and feels like pins and needles that expands and leaves her breathless for about 20 minutes.  She has had them for 5 years with no help from anyone.  It is really scaring me they seem to get worse and it doesn't happen after eating.  She can be lying down on the couch when one comes on.
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Finally! I know I am not alone.  I have suffered with food sticking in my esophogus for about 18 years. It has gotten increasingly worse in the last 5 years.  I've had all the test. I even had a Heart Cath. A year ago I had chest pains radiating to my jaw, went to the E.R. and they immediately thru me into the ICU.  I had elevated Cardiac Enzymes and the pain responded to Nitro under the tongue. The Cardiac Specialist was sure that I was having a heart attack.  Ran the Heart Cath and found nothing.  I since have been through all the Gastro tests. No luck other than they say I have a sliding Hernia.  The only thing I have found to help me get the food down when it is stuck is a gulp of Milk.  It will take it down every time.  My 18 year old son recommend the milk, because he sometimes has the same problem and he had discovered it worked for him.  Can't explain why it helps, but it will give immediate relief.  The only problem is that you don't always have milk available when the problem occurs.  I think I will have to start carrying milk with me whenever I go out to eat, I have discovered that some resturants do not carry milk.  Every other drink I have tryed has just increased the pain and sat on top of the blockage and usually the only thing I can get up,  is the liquid that was sitting on top.  Maybe this will help someone else.  Good luck to all of you.
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this is response to esphogeal spasms, I have had this problem for at least 15 years, I was treated for severe attack in ER several years ago,thought I was having a heart attack and was treated with a simple drug called phenergan. a simple 6.25 mg at the onset and within 20 minutes the pain subsides.. talk to your physican if your current mode of treatment is not effective. this is an old time treatment but it helps..
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About 4 years ago I started having chest pains. Since they seemed to happen only after eating I had a complete Upper and Lower GI, endoscopy from both directions and a complete heart work up. In the end they said that something was wrong with my heart although they could find nothing (but Nitrostat relieved the pain) and to quit smoking, lose weight etc.

I changed insurance which allowed me to go back to my family doctor of 30 years. In one examination he told me I had "esphogeal dyskiesnia" and put me on Propulsid. The problem went almost completely away within a day.

Now Propulsid is no longer available and I have been managing the pain myself. I can prevent attacks by eating small amounts and not walking around after I eat. I have also learned some techniques for voluntary control (I can relax).

Two weeks ago I developed a pain under my right sholder blade which is only relieved by lying on my right side. X-Rays and Sonograms are negative. The Doc is talking surgery but I told him only if it's life or death.

I am beginning to wonder if my new problem is related to the withdrawal from Propulsid.
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For the past year I have experienced a lump in my throat of varying degrees - from throat almost closing to the sensation of an apple core stuck in my throat.  This would progress throughout the day.  On waking there was little sensation, by the evening it was bad.

At the same time I experienced constant acid reflux - as though my insides were slowly being burned away.  My doctor diagnosed "globus histericus" and suggested hypnotherapy/psychotherapy for stress.  I was also prescribed LANSOPRAZOLE for the acid reflux.  The acid reflux disappeared almost immediately (I had previously been on Zantac with poor results.)  I have now noticed an improvement in the "globus" symptoms.  This may be due to the fact that I am no longer stressed out with acid reflux all the time.  I have not attended a psychotherapist, as I would rather deal with the "stress" myself.  I have been on the LANSOPRAZOLE medication for two weeks now and feel much better.
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Great info.  Does anyone also have lethargy with their reflux symptoms?  I can stand the mild burning, the lethargy is what affects me the most.  Docs have never heard of it.
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I was looking at the messages and caught mine which was posted in May! I can
tell you guys that my symptoms are still present -- changing and getting
worse.
I have been experiencing mainly Shortness of breath -- seems not getting
enough air, together with symptoms of
     throat/upper chest discomfort (feels like the choking feeling you get
after strenous exercise). It usually stays long
     for hours at least, everyday for almost 9 months now. I even get this
feeling after only a hot shower. The problem
     is, this symptoms is WORSE when lying down with my neck flexed (like
lying on the sofa watching TV) or when I
     get my upper chest area squeezed (like when you turn the body from side
to side). I have chest pain also, Plus Back pain. Feels there is a big lump
compression the middle of
     chest -- that's what i am scared of. I now feel nauseaous too. It feels
some kind of spasms-- but is it GI or skeletalmuscular? I am worried some
kind of neuro problems which might cause these constant spasms eg MS? spine
problems?
I've seen quite a no. of specialist, done a no. of tests, and are still
waiting for tests.
Plus, I now get LOTS of burp, and the discomfort of the NEED TO BURP.
BURPING DAY AND NIGHT regardless of food.
I am pretty worried esp for my shortness of breath. Sinister Lung problem or
related? Neuro problems?
     Anything to do with GI problem?

     Need great help from anyone.
     I am getting so depressed and anxious-- for the whole of 9 months.
     pls email me: ***@****
     Many thanks.

     -J
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I was looking at the messages and caught mine which was posted in May! I can
tell you guys that my symptoms are still present -- changing and getting
worse.
I have been experiencing mainly Shortness of breath -- seems not getting
enough air, together with symptoms of
     throat/upper chest discomfort (feels like the choking feeling you get
after strenous exercise). It usually stays long
     for hours at least, everyday for almost 9 months now. I even get this
feeling after only a hot shower. The problem
     is, this symptoms is WORSE when lying down with my neck flexed (like
lying on the sofa watching TV) or when I
     get my upper chest area squeezed (like when you turn the body from side
to side). I have chest pain also, Plus Back pain. Feels there is a big lump
compression the middle of
     chest -- that's what i am scared of. I now feel nauseaous too. It feels
some kind of spasms-- but is it GI or skeletalmuscular? I am worried some
kind of neuro problems which might cause these constant spasms eg MS? spine
problems?
I've seen quite a no. of specialist, done a no. of tests, and are still
waiting for tests.
Plus, I now get LOTS of burp, and the discomfort of the NEED TO BURP.
BURPING DAY AND NIGHT regardless of food.
I am pretty worried esp for my shortness of breath. Sinister Lung problem or
related? Neuro problems?
     Anything to do with GI problem?

     Need great help from anyone.
     I am getting so depressed and anxious-- for the whole of 9 months.
     pls email me: ***@****
     Many thanks.

     -J
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I was looking at the messages and caught mine which was posted in May! I can
tell you guys that my symptoms are still present -- changing and getting
worse.
I have been experiencing mainly Shortness of breath -- seems not getting
enough air, together with symptoms of
     throat/upper chest discomfort (feels like the choking feeling you get
after strenous exercise). It usually stays long
     for hours at least, everyday for almost 9 months now. I even get this
feeling after only a hot shower. The problem
     is, this symptoms is WORSE when lying down with my neck flexed (like
lying on the sofa watching TV) or when I
     get my upper chest area squeezed (like when you turn the body from side
to side). I have chest pain also, Plus Back pain. Feels there is a big lump
compression the middle of
     chest -- that's what i am scared of. I now feel nauseaous too. It feels
some kind of spasms-- but is it GI or skeletalmuscular? I am worried some
kind of neuro problems which might cause these constant spasms eg MS? spine
problems?
I've seen quite a no. of specialist, done a no. of tests, and are still
waiting for tests.
Plus, I now get LOTS of burp, and the discomfort of the NEED TO BURP.
BURPING DAY AND NIGHT regardless of food.
I am pretty worried esp for my shortness of breath. Sinister Lung problem or
related? Neuro problems?
     Anything to do with GI problem?

     Need great help from anyone.
     I am getting so depressed and anxious-- for the whole of 9 months.
     pls email me: ***@****
     Many thanks.

     -J
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Avatar_n_tn
I was looking at the messages and caught mine which was posted in May! I can
tell you guys that my symptoms are still present -- changing and getting
worse.
I have been experiencing mainly Shortness of breath -- seems not getting
enough air, together with symptoms of
     throat/upper chest discomfort (feels like the choking feeling you get
after strenous exercise). It usually stays long
     for hours at least, everyday for almost 9 months now. I even get this
feeling after only a hot shower. The problem
     is, this symptoms is WORSE when lying down with my neck flexed (like
lying on the sofa watching TV) or when I
     get my upper chest area squeezed (like when you turn the body from side
to side). I have chest pain also, Plus Back pain. Feels there is a big lump
compression the middle of
     chest -- that's what i am scared of. I now feel nauseaous too. It feels
some kind of spasms-- but is it GI or skeletalmuscular? I am worried some
kind of neuro problems which might cause these constant spasms eg MS? spine
problems?
I've seen quite a no. of specialist, done a no. of tests, and are still
waiting for tests.
Plus, I now get LOTS of burp, and the discomfort of the NEED TO BURP.
BURPING DAY AND NIGHT regardless of food.
I am pretty worried esp for my shortness of breath. Sinister Lung problem or
related? Neuro problems?
     Anything to do with GI problem?

     Need great help from anyone.
     I am getting so depressed and anxious-- for the whole of 9 months.
     pls email me: ***@****
     Many thanks.

     -J
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READ ME PLEASE!!!!!
hello- this morning i had breakfast with someone close to me. after eating ( 26 yr old male ) he had spasms or a seizure for at least 10, 15 minutes. When the shaking stopped he said it was even more painful. It happens regularly after eating. he refuses to eat without drinking milk, which helps. but still who has a seizure after meals? and the pain i saw in his face. his hands were cold, he says he starts feeling freezing after every time it happens( every day ) I felt his heart racing. i don't want to lose him yet so please tell me what the hell it is because he won't go to the doctor------- ***@****
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My 18 year old son is currently undergoing testing for Acid Reflux.  He has severe hyperactive gag reflex. He gags on certain foods because of their texture.  He has no heartburn.  He also has the feeling of something being stuck in his throat and hard to get his breath.  He just took the barrium swallow test and the Dr. prescribed prisolec even though the Dr. does not thing he has GERD.  Does anyone out there have any information on where to go for help or treatment for Hyperactive Gag Reflex.  He has been doing this since age 3 and no Dr. has an answer for him.  Please help...Thanks...***@****
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All I can say is Ive been thare and tried everything you all have mentioned and then I found Axid. Yes Axid! none of the expensive drugs from the Dr. helped and not eating the wrong foods helped and as soon as I stop taking the Axid for more than a day the spasms come back.Axid has been a life saver for me.Now I can eat whatever I want and never have a spasm again as long as i take two a day.Give it a try what have you got ot lose? You can buy it over the counter and it really did work for me at least. Good Luck and God Bless you all.
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All I can say is Ive been there and tried everything you all have mentioned and then I found Axid. Yes Axid! none of the expensive drugs from the Dr. helped and not eating the wrong foods helped and as soon as I stop taking the Axid for more than a day the spasms come back.Axid has been a life saver for me.Now I can eat whatever I want and never have a spasm again as long as i take two a day.Give it a try what have you got ot lose? You can buy it over the counter and it really did work for me at least. Good Luck and God Bless you all.
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Hello,
It is so good to have found this site . I was begining to think I
was crazy. I too have the constant belching, the pain in the shoulder, the rib cage,  all the symptoms thet seem to haunt all of you. There is one exception though, My pain and lump in throat feeling , and acidy feeling seem to be more on the right side and not on the left at all. I have had a breathing test on some kind of machine, a gall bladder scan, a lung x-ray and after the holidays an endoscopy. I've asked my Gastro Doc., to do a barium swallow ,as sometimes it seem that my throat just freezes up and food slams tight in there. Afew seconds later it releases. But heres the clincher.. it's only on the right side.
I was wondering if any one else has had this sensation?
could it be perhaps because I have a mild case of scolieosis?
When you get desparate ,I guess we all grasp for even the most "out there" possibilities.    Delilah Blue
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This is very interesting!  I have been having this problem with very bad chest and/or back pain after eating.  I've noticed that sometimes when I eat within about an hour or so I smell like undigested food or some type of bacterial infection.  It is very embarrassing and annoying.  My doctor does not believe me and has recommended Prozac.  Needless to say, I don't take the Prozac because i'm not nuts and what i'm experiencing is real.  Has anyone else experienced these symptoms or problems?  If so please email me at ***@****.
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Thanks very much for all the information about esophageal spasms - it's a big relief to know that I'm not alone.  I was particularly interested to read the comments made by ejay, back in January, as his symptoms are most like mine.

I've been experiencing excessive belching and heartburn for about two years now.  I was diagnosed as having reflux esophagus but was told that the belching was not caused by this condition, but by swallowing air.  I don't accept the diagnosis of swallowing air as it's too great a co-incidence that the symptoms of reflux (heart burn) should start at the same time as the belching started.  Further evidence of a link between the two is that the activities which trigger belching, such as eating spicy foods or bending over, are also those which trigger heart burn.

I've tried a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines and have found that none of them are at all effective.  However, like ejay, I found that a bland diet was very helpful in reducing  both the heartburn and the belching.
I've removed all the following things from my diet: spicy foods, fatty foods, meat, vegetable protein (e.g. nuts and beans), citrus fruits and any foods containing citric acid, hard cheese (I can eat low fat soft cheese), onions, garlic and alcohol.

I've found that smoking pot will often stop me belching, possibly because my condition is aggravated by stress and smoking pot is so relaxing.

I also find it helpful to keep busy in the garden when I'm having an attack of belching, possibly because I get stressed about the fact that I'm belching if I just sit around doing nothing and this makes it worse.

I'd really like to hear from you again ejay and from anyone else who can throw any light on this unusual illness.


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Thanks very much for all the information about esophagul spasm.  It was a big relief to know that I'm not alone.  I was especially interested to read the comments which ejay made back in January, since his symptoms are the same as mine.

I've had excessive belching and heartburn for about two years now.  I was diagnosed as having reflux esophagus but was told that the belching was not caused by this condition but by swallowing air.  I don't accept the diagnosis of swallowing air as it's too great a co-incidence that the symptoms of reflux (ie heartburn) should have started at the same time as the belching did.  Further evidence that the belching is caused by reflux  is that the activities which trigger the heartburn, such as eating spicy foods or bending over, also trigger the belching.

I've tried a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, none of which were at all effective.  However, like ejay, I found that a bland diet was very helpful in reducing both the heartburn and the belching.  I've removed all the following foods from my diet: spicy foods, fatty foods,meat, vegetable protein (eg beans and nuts), citrus fruits and any food containing citric acid, hard cheese (I can eat low fat soft cheese), onions, garlic and alcolhol.

I've found that smoking pot will often stop me belching; possibly because my condition is aggravated by stress and smoking pot is very relaxing.

I also find it helpful to keep busy in the garden when I'm having an attack of belching; possibly because I get stressed about the fact that I'm belching if I just sit around doing nothing and this makes it worse.

I'd really like to hear from you again ejay, and from anyone else who can throw light on this unusual illness.  Thanks

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Thanks very much for all the information about esophagul spasm.  It was a big relief to know that I'm not alone.  I was especially interested to read the comments which ejay made back in January, since his symptoms are the same as mine.

I've had excessive belching and heartburn for about two years now.  I was diagnosed as having reflux esophagus but was told that the belching was not caused by this condition but by swallowing air.  I don't accept the diagnosis of swallowing air as it's too great a co-incidence that the symptoms of reflux (ie heartburn) should have started at the same time as the belching did.  Further evidence that the belching is caused by reflux  is that the activities which trigger the heartburn, such as eating spicy foods or bending over, also trigger the belching.

I've tried a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, none of which were at all effective.  However, like ejay, I found that a bland diet was very helpful in reducing both the heartburn and the belching.  I've removed all the following foods from my diet: spicy foods, fatty foods,meat, vegetable protein (eg beans and nuts), citrus fruits and any food containing citric acid, hard cheese (I can eat low fat soft cheese), onions, garlic and alcolhol.

I've found that smoking pot will often stop me belching; possibly because my condition is aggravated by stress and smoking pot is very relaxing.

I also find it helpful to keep busy in the garden when I'm having an attack of belching; possibly because I get stressed about the fact that I'm belching if I just sit around doing nothing and this makes it worse.

I'd really like to hear from you again ejay, and from anyone else who can throw light on this unusual illness.  Thanks

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I've had the burning and the food sitting in the esophagus- had that happen 3 times and had to go to E.R.  Newest doc put me on Protonix and it worked great for several months but now I have this burping thing going on and I've never had that before.  Kind of that swirling feeling of liquid in my throat too- hard to sleep- anyways I read about a new procedure in this week's Woman' World- its called  the EndoCinch.  "Studies show it can end heartburn for up to 75% of patients and compared to traditional surgery for chronic heartburn, this procedure takes just 45 minutes and carried a much lower risk of complications" explains gastroenterologist Anthony A. Starpoli, M.D.  To find an Endo Cinch trained doctor near you call 1/800 826-2273.  The article also says of the over the counter meds Pepcid is 77% better than Zantac- keeps it under control for 9 hours and works within 1/2 hour of taking it.  Good luck!!  I am calling the 1/800 number on Tuesday!  Just got the magazine!  I'll let everyone know if I get it done!
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Thanks, Patty and to all those posting here. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL...

I read ejay's 1/2000 post and my gastro doc sounds just like his,i.e., uncaring, deaf, blaze, arrogant, cocky, etc. etc. I am in Houston and wonder if they are one in the same!!!! I see a new female gastro doc in a few weeks.  THANK GOD.  

Patty, on our local TV the other day, there was a Baylor Doc talking about a new procedure that a doc at the Mayo clinic was doing.  Is is non invasive and they go down much like a Endoscopy and put a few tiny stiches to keep the acid from coming back into the esophagus.  This is not for everyone but boy oh boy, does this sound like something I want to investigate. My %^#$%@#$^ Gastro doc said there was NOTHING out there to help folks like me, other than the meds, i.e. priolosec, prevacid, achifex of which I have tried and have worse side effects from these meds. OH...YES, this Male gastro doc did say that if I would MEDITATE and do daily YOGA, all my symtoms (symptoms) would disappear..... I told him that he was on the wrong page!

I am 62 years old and a retired CEO.  I will not take a back seat to rudness, unprofessionalism, etc. etc. I will not let any person intimidate me.

Thanks again, Patty for sharing this.  I will try to get the magazine today and I will call this number and discuss this with the new Female Gastroenterologist that I will be seeing.

P.S.  I will buy Pepcid today.  I was taking Zantac and this was helping me better than the proton pump inhibitors. BUT, I have to watch everything I put in my mouth.  No fun.  I hated to have to say Good Bye to my Almond Joys.  We made a great team.<g>
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GES & Fibromyalgy (fibromyalgia) - I started with chest pains 3 years ago, have visited the ER numerous times with the "heart attack" even been flown there in a helicopter. Told I was "mad" and accepted hospitalistaion for 3 months in a German hospital (I only speak English) subject to psychotherapy every day (mental torture) and felt really mad when I got out. Put on all sorts of Medication that gave me side effects, had no help for 3 years, since had all symptoms of FMS and diagnosed as such. I go to a FMS clinic here in Munich this month and pray for some progress. In the mean time I still have to work, bring up a family and suffer constant back pain, weakness, chest pains etc... Your stories don't make me feel better since I would not wish such a life on anybody. However there does seem to be an overwhelming link between all these symtoms (symptoms), why on earth can't medically trained experts simply listen a bit more before sending a person off for more tests etc.. Hope it works out for someof you soon.
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I can relate to Carol Bond's post about the torture she went through having the colonoscopy.

I also suffered torture and humility and basically was demoralized by the gastro doc, during a recent colonoscopy. I was suppose to be on versed and demerol with phenergam and this jerk decided to use fentynal with something else. I felt everything and cried out in pain.  I felt my rights as a patient per the AMA's Code of Ethics were violated.  

Every patient has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.  I pray that this doctor and  the other jerks out there, have a time when they are placed in similar positions.  Then, they will know how we felt.

When my hubby had his colonoscopy a few weeks later by a different doctor (colon and rectal spec), the doctor told me that he would make sure my hubby was comfortable.  And, he did.  It was a breeze for him becuz the right meds were used apparently, and he had a wonderful and caring doctor.

Off my band wagon.

I am still suffering greatly with upper back burning and shorness of breath and burning reflux.  The Jerk that also did the EGD along with the colonoscopy does not know how to communicate with the patient.  Needless to say, this does not help a patient getting well or at least better.  I have tried the 3 proton pump inhibitors meds but to no avail.  This doc said I would feel better in 3 days and after 5 days he would switch me to another.

Well, I think I need to switch to another...Another doctor that  is. (-:  

I love reading this site (but do not love that so many here are suffering) as it provides other alternatives that people have tried and are trying. Networking is so important with other patients suffering the same and a GOOD Understanding Physican is the Frosting on the Cake.

May 2001 Be Healthier For All Of Us!






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hi, i have acid reflux to.IF YOU ARE TAKING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICINE AND HAVE ACID REFLUX,DON'T TAKE CALCIUM BLOCKER. I WAS TAKING NORVASC FOR BLOOD PRESSURE. AND IT CAUSE ME TO HAVE A FAST HEART BEAT AND CAUSE MY ACID REFLUX TO  GET WORSE.
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Thanks, MHogan for this information.

I am not on BP meds but this will info may help others.  AND, I am finding other meds also may aggravate the Acid Reflux thus
making the patient think the reflux meds are not working and also
some of the Reflux Meds can cause side effects that make a person think they are worse.   This happened with me.

Thank God for sites like this.  We learn a lot.  Thanks again.
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I was here quite a few months ago for a similar posting called undiagnosed URQ pain. There were probably hundreds of responses, all the same or similar as these--the reflux, lump in throat, chest pain, etc. My story:

I don't smoke, drink, touch caffeine or artificial sweetners (I'm not some kind of health nut weirdo, I just don't like nutrasweet and caffeine affects me badly). And I drink tons of water and try to stay in shape. Had the flu in Sept. 1999. When I started getting over it, noticed the pressure in the chest that felt like a need to belch. Would relieve it for a few seconds, but repeated belching would just make it worse. Also had lump in throat feeling (on the right side). Dr could not find anything so referred me to ENT, who told me I looked fine but probably have acid reflux and put me on zantac. I had acid reflux problems back in 1995, but this was not the same. I didn't feel any acid coming up at all, but I took the zantac in hopes anyway. At first I thought I was a little better, but then it started to get worse, pressure in chest (on right side, sometimes more center) turning to pain that would radiate to my back; went to ER, and all tests for heart came back normal. was sent to a gastro doc who put me on prilosec. did not help. I had my gall bladder out in Jan 1999, so it wasn't that. Endoscopy said gastritis/GERD, but all other tests came back normal. Upped my dose of prilosec, no better. Upped again, no better. Doc had no clue, didn't even know that the lump in throat thing was considered a symptom of GERD (I had to find that out on the net). Meanwhile, I started to feel achy in my joints about 3 months after all this sarted. Dr finally decided it wasn't my stomach at all but something else that he couldn't help me with, maybe my heart (which i had had tests done and all were fine). I did not go back to that idiot. I weaned myself off the prilosec slowly, as I could no longer digest anything since I was on such a high dose. I had a lot of reflux while doing that. Finally got to the point were I was taking zantac every other day for reflux; chest pains exactly the same as when I was more highly medicated. Sometimes they radiate down my arm, sometimes up into my jaw. I have heard that these can all be symptoms of fibromyalgia, and that CFS is closely related (which would explain lethargy--which I felt at first, too). I never got to the rheumatologist, though, since I got pregnant. So now I am not on anything, (and the pain was unbearable sometimes in the beginning--I was taking all sorts of painkillers before the pregnancy) but as time went on I think I learned to relax a little better, and my reflux eventually went away (though it is back now, but only because I am so far along in the pregnancy).

Here I will put in a note on stress--there is no way I believe that stress caused this horrid thing (I know it came after that flu I had), but it can make it worse--particularly the stress of not knowing what is wrong with you. Therefore, I would recommend an antidepressant to anyone able to take one (I was one one for years for an unrelated condition, and was about to restart taking another before the baby), especially if you are highly anxious about it. Paxil I hear works best for anxiety, but it also comes with a large weight gain (which might work for those of you who have lost weight). If it gives you a little peace of mind, it's worth it. Anyway, since I've been pregnant, my symptoms were much less for the month I was on vacation from my stressful business.

As for diet, I have discovered that ice cream does me in--it seems to be the temperature, not the fat, though. In milkshake form (one of the few things I could keep down during morning sickness) it doesn't bother me at all. Small meals help sometimes, and any form of pepper I am now highly sensitive to (the paprika in cheesits burns my throat); don't know if this is a pregnancy thing or a reflux thing. Fat content doesn't seem to affect it at all, and sometimes the pain comes on when I haven't eaten, although it's more often after I have.

A note on sleep: I always felt really bad when I wasn't getting enough sleep (another fibromyalgia link, possibly). But since I've been pregnant, I have forced myself to get more than adequate amounts and let my business suffer a little instead. I really think this has helped, although that was never my intention!

Anyway, I will check out the fibromyalgia thing as soon as I am able; I still have a couple of months to go before the baby is born. Rheumatoid problems are rampant in my family so I know of a rheumatologist who should listen, I hope, since my mother sees her often. I suggest everyone with a similar problem get evaluated for such a thing if possible, especially if you have achy joints. I have flare up points in my shoulders and hips; but when this started my whole neck and shoulders felt on fire.

I know there are things I'm forgetting, but it's been a long time since I've seen a doctor for this and a while until I can again, so I try not to think about it too much.

Good luck to everyone; remember that just because it didn't work for someone else does not mean it won't work for you. So be willing to try out new things, if they're safe, anyway. Zantac happens to work better for me than pepsid, but when I had my reflux problems 5 years ago, pepsid worked fine. Things change, even for yourself. So be willing to give things a try and don't give up (I came quite close to it before I got pregnant--I was thinking maybe I'd go to medical school and solve the problem myself, but that would take years ;). Try to get more sleep and what the heck, go for massage therapy! Me, I would give up cable tv to be able to afford something like that on a regular basis, if I hadn't already given cable up to afford other things. I read a lot and that relaxes me a great deal, especially now that I have trimmed back my business to allow a little more leisure time. Try to reduce the stress in your life as much as possible, since the stress from this medical problem isn't going away, and you really don't need any more (easier said than done, I know). Again, good luck to everyone and be sure to share any thing that seems to help.
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I had no idea there were so many people with the same symptoms as mine.  I've never visited a health website before   Its mind-boggling.  But my symptoms are EXACTLY the same as E-bays.  No real discomfort, except a general feeling occasionally of nausea, BUT CONSTANT belching  It never stops.  I have had the up and down tests and was diagnosed with Barrets disease.  But as I don't feel any real discomfort except the above and sometimes just plain weariness, I just can't believe this.  

I'm really curious, as e-bay posted his note a year ago, if he has found any relief.  i came to this site hoping to find relief but it seems to be as elusive to y'all as it is to me.  All I've gleaned so far from the site is cutting out all food -- almost -- and taking cayenne, apple pectin, cayenne pepper, axid and pepcid.  Anything else?  I've been the Zantac and Prylosec route and have been on metocloproamide for a few days with no apparent relief.

What happened to e-bay?????
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my message has not been posted.  It took effort and was a first time thing.
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I don't know if I have esophageal spasms or what?  Within hours after my gallbladder surgery, 3 years ago, I was awakened by this awful pain that started under my ribs and radiated up my chest.  I rang for the nurse and couldn't speak or barely breathe.  I was so frightened I had to practically beg her to take my blood pressure because I thought I was having a heart attack.  The nurse had no bed side manner at all!!  Since then I have had repeated attacks mostly in the night.  I am awakened with my heart racing and the feeling of a stomach ache coming on.  I get up and go to the bathroom and realize that I am having one of these attacks again.  I have severe pain in my chest and cannot breathe or speak.  I sweat profusely and shake and shiver like I'm freezing in between attacks.  They usually last for about 5 hours.  All I can do is sit very still and try my best to take the pain.  I ended up in the er last summer with an attack that started while I was driving home from the grocery store.  Thankfully I had another adult with me and got to the er. My kids thought mommy was going to die. (I sure did feel that way).  anyway, the shot me up with numerous doses of demerol and ativan until the spasms stopped, about 5 hours later.  All kinds of tests were done and the only thing that showed up were my liver enzymes were elevated.  Since then I've had an ERCP and my sphincter was found normal.  they put me on Levsin and a very low dose of ELAVIL.  I still get the onset of these attacks but I take a dose of Levsin and then 10-15 minutes later take a second dose.  Usually the attack does not progress into the severe state.  I am at a loss of what is actually happening to my body during one of these attacks.  I am guessing esophageal spasm maybe?  Could esophageal spasms cause elavated liver enzymes??  Could all this be related to my surgery 3 years ago?   If anyone has experienced this same pattern please feel free to email me with any suggestions or reccomendations.  I suppose I will be living off Levsin for the rest of my life.  I don't ever want to go through one of the attacks again!  I sympathize with everyone!!!
***@****
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this is so crazy-i thought i was the only person in the world that had the feeling of a lump in there throat! i have expelled so much time and energy and money to this with no resolve.
it all started one morning in june 1999 for no reason i woke up and felt like there was something stuck in my throat.i even had to take an extensive leave of absense from work because of it.i would take panic attacks left and right.i was very scared to be left alone with my children for fear that i would pass out.my energy levels are depleeting rapidly.as is our bank account due to numerous visits to the local emergency rooms over this problem without having any insurance.i have been on steroids,anxiety meds,pain meds,antibiotics,stomach meds,etc...
i AM a walking drug store at times and i hate it. will we ever feel normal again?
ive been through the bloodtests,the endoscopy,the barrium swallow,the upper g.i,stress tests,thyroid scans,therepy!!!!!!!!!!
i have lost alot of faith in the medical society-- why cant i get an answer? i feel like they arent hearing what im trying to tell them or that they think im IMAGINING it or that im just plain CRAZY!!!!!! i know how i feel and it is so hard to explain to others that have never experienced it!! i have been so afraid that i have some sort of cancer and they just cant find it.im only 30 years old and have 2 terrific sons and a great husband, im afraid of dying and leaving them over this feeling ive been having for almost two years now!
i hardly ever even mention it to my family anymore since there is nothing that they can do about it and no sense in worrying them, but it is always there-never goes away-it may ease up a little but always there. im about at my wits end with it.
thank you for reading this and if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please contact me at ***@**** YOU!
WISH YOU ALL THE BEST-I KNOW HOW YOU ALL FEEL!!!!!!!!!!YOU'RE NOT ALONE
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My wife has suffered from all the symptoms described in above comments and have gone through all the tests described above and tried all the medication normally prescribed.
The esophagus passes thru the respiratory diaphragm (a bundle of muscles) before entering the stomac. If the diaphragm goes into a spasm for any reason, (which can be stress,imflammation of the diapragm or esophagus, or a trapped nerve), the sphincter valve between the stomac and esophagus does not operate properly and gastro reflux and difficulty in swallowing and discomfort results.
If the nerve between the brain and diaphragm is disturbed, typically where it exits the spinal column at thoracic vertabrae T8 similar symptoms will occur.
The suggested solutions can therefore be (a)to check for inflammation of the diaphragm, esophagus or peritonium in the area, (b)visit a chiropractor to reset the spine and relieve pinched nerves, (c) massage the diaphragm by applying suitable pressure all round the abdomen just below the rib cage until relief is obtained, especially if shortage of breath is experienced which very often confirms spasm in diaprhagm.
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I have also been experiencing what i think is esophageal spasms or something, no one seems to have the answers in the professional field. this is a very new ordeal for me and i have only experienced this for about a month now. i thought at first it was my heart. was awaken one night from a deep sleep with chest pain (or just below the rib cage) and all the way thru the shoulder blades. thought i was having a heart attack, went to the e.r. and was given an aspirin, 2 doses of nitroglycerin, iv's and was told it was not my heart and needed to see my family physician that day. the nitroglycerin seemed to help a little but gave me a slight headache. i then went to my dr. and he to gave me 2 more doses of nitro, which seemed to help but did not get rid of the pain for good. he gave me a script for prilosec which i took but did not help (i even took mylanta with the prilosec) with no relief. went back to him and he upped the dosage with no results. finally had to beg for a gallbladder sonogram which checked out fine, he then referred me to a gastro dr. who recommended i have a egd (endoscopy) that was performed and he found a hiatal hernia and put me on aciphex twice a day. still no relief, but the pain was worse at night(could not sleep walked the floors and held my chest tight bent double.) he then ordered a ct scan of my chest , all good. still no relief and this was effecting my job, could not work, he then questioned me about the stress in my life, didn't feel i had any was doing just fine, had been worse. he then made me feel like it was in my head. and then after that i developed a rash (welp like with itching and redness) went to my family dr. and he said he had never seen this type of rash (no known allergies, no new foods, etc.) gave be a 5 day supply of predisone and zyrtec and told me to go home because he didn't know if i was contagious or not. just recently went to e.r. with chest pain bent double again and they admitted me and gave me pain relievers, have had a hiatus scan (good results), lab tests, xrays, stool specimans, (all good) was scheduled for a ct of the abdomen but was unable to perform this tests due to iv had filterated into my arm and they could not get another vein ( 3 people tried) and i refused for them to keep probing on my arms. finally told the dr. to let me go home because the pain had presided. but that is just it the pain has never went away but some is worse than others. they have rescheduled the ct of abdomen but don't know if i want to do that or not. really disgusted at this time. the most common response i get from most people including some friends is (stress related) or just in my head. it's like one of the other people stated i know my body and this ain't normal, never experienced this before. several months ago i had taken restoril for about a month for insomnia but i quit that because i did not want to get addicted to that stuff. if the pain would go away i could sleep just fine. it doesn't seem to matter what i eat or drink, so i am totally confused. the pain is excruiating and i don't know what to do. sometimes i too get the feeling that my throat is closing up but i really don't get short of breath. i thought one time i had a collapsed lung (have had one in the past) but did not experience the tingling sensation in my arm or the s.o.b. and the inability to take in air. just went back to work today but don't know for how long. usually i can just clutch my chest real tight and bend double and hope it goes away. my sister has fibermyalgia (fibromyalgia) (could this be related) husband wants me to take restoril again to see if the symptoms goes away says maybe i shouldn't have gone off that by myself. don't know about that, don't like relying on stuff like that. i was overwhelmed by this sight, i am so glad i am not alone. does muscle relaxers seem to help anyone, need something FAST. so actually so far according to all the test i'm fine just for the hiatal hernia which the dr says he does not think this is causing that much pain. NEED ANSWERS. thanks alot!
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My Husband has had esophagael spasms for about two years, he was seeing a dr about it and heartburn, she had prescibed prilosec, tagamet and other various things.Also he was complaining of a painfull leg. 05/04/00 he broke his leg where that same complaint was,he was told it was a spontaneous break? Two more months went by misdianosed by 11 other Doctors.Finally we went to an orthopedic who dianosed him with esophageal cancer metastasied to the bone. Since then he has had brain and liver cancer, but still has the liver cancer. I have found out that just because you take antiacids it will not nessaccerily take away all stomach acids that can eventually cause cancer. So get a through check up and a second opinion. By the way my husband is only 46 and has always been very healthy.
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So much for not wanting to go through an attack again!!!,  Yesterday I was driving my husband to the airport and had to pull over because I felt one of these attacks (spasms) starting.  I had already taken two doses of Levsin and the third pill my husband put under my tongue and rushed me to the nearest ER which was about 20 minutes away!!  Needless to say, about 1 minute before reaching the hospital ER, I started to feel some relief and just started to shake uncontrolably.  The shaking lasted about 1 hour and then I was fine and drove home.  I was extremely exhausted from the whole ordeal and went to bed early and today I feel much better but I am very causious.  i will not drive anywhere alone anymore because I am frightened of these spasms.  Has anyone looked up "achalasia or vigorous achalasia"??
Sounds like what I am experiencing, now I just have to find the right doc. to check me out.  I had to actually ask for a blood test at the ER they only checked me with an EKG.  After that they didn't visit me until I walked out. Hope I don't have to use that place again. Anyone have any suggestions or comments , please feel free to let me know>>  Thanks,  Kristin
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I started having symtoms (symptoms) a year ago in March when I had to have female surgery.  At first I thought it might be due to muscle tension in my chest area because I could not sit, I had to lay down and I could not move or roll over for approximately 2 weeks because the paid was so great due to my surgery.  The thing that scared me the most was when I began to feel a "strangeness" (lack of a better word to describe) in my chest that felt like my muscles tightening and like something was moving.  It wasn't so much a pain as an ache.  When this happened it scared me and I had the classic "impending doom" kind of feeling and became anxious.  I have also felt intermittent jabs of pain in my upper chest area after this happens.  It's not all the time but it has happened enough times in the past year to make me worry.  I try not to consider myself a hypochondriac.  I too suffered from panic attacks 23 years ago and read Claire Weekes books the same as REYNA (hope you're reading this) and actually met her via the phone and talked with her.  Anyway, I also suffer occassionally from belching, acid reflux, regurtitation, etc.  I notice I do more so in times of stress and when some of my "panic attack days" symptoms return.  My main concern is I want to know if anyone else had had this feeling like something is moving in your chest.  It comes on suddenly, while sitting.  Not precipitated by bending down, heavy lifting etc.  Reyna if you've read this I'd like to converse with you.  Claire Weekes was my savior.
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For anyone who needs some info., I was recently at my doc.s office and asked for the liquid form of Levsin.  I am on that because of esophageal spasms or spasm of the gut.  That was one of the last diagnoses the gastro doc gave me last summer.  I take a pill form dose during the day and carry a vial of liquid form with me at all times.  I do feel alittle more secure having the liquid within reach if I should have another attack or should I say WHEN I have another attack.  Weird how this happens to me when I least expect it.  I haven't had an attack since last summer besides the one two weeks ago.  \sometimes it will be a few weeks or sometimes months in between attacks.  Has anyone ever heard of spasm of the gut?  Is it for real?  Or is this another way of a doctor telling me it's all in my head??!!  
(or should I say chest!)  Well for those of us who actually do suffer, thanks for being an ear to tell my troubles to.  It is nice knowing that some people in this world can actually relate.
thanks
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After a full year of suffering with chronic "acid reflux" and taking prilosec as needed, which became more and more frequent, I finally sought another opinion and had an endoscopy performed.  The result was a diagnosis of Barretts Esophagus, and fortunately it is non-cancerous at this point.  I am being medicated with Prevacid, taking medication for anxiety, and praying alot.  Does anyone have any experience with this diagnosis, if so, could you share with me.  What can I expect? I have been told once diagnosed and treated, either with medication or surgery, chances of cancer are slimmed considerably.  
Thanks.
Rosebee
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I TOO HAVE BEEN HAVING BASICALLY THE SAME SYMPTOMS AS MOST OF YOU. I HAVE CHEST PAINS, ACROSS MY COLLAR BONES, AND THESE SHARP STINGING PAINS FROM MY CHEST TO MY BACK USUSALLY IN MY LEFT BREAST. DR.DID STRESS TEST ETC. AND SAID IT WAS NON CARDIAC.HAD AN EGD AND DR. SAID I HAD THE ESOPHAGEAL SPASMS.HE CHANGED MY PRILOSEC, PRESCRIBED YEARS AGO FOR GERD, TO PROTONIX AND STARTED ME ON BUSPAR FOR ANXIETY. HAVE RECENTLY QUIT DRINKING CAFFIENE AND TRY TO AVOID HOT OR COLD FOODS. WENT ON A LOW FAT DIET BECUASE OF CHLOSETROL PROBLEM AND LOST 25 POUNDS.MY PAINS SEEM TO COME ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK AND NOTHING SEEMS TO RELIEVE THEM.I DO HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A GASTRO DR.NEXT WEEK AND HOPEFULLY HE CAN GIVE ME SOME ANSWERS. THANKS FOR LISTENING.
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i have the same thing and sometimes i wonder how bad is this belching for me on my throat .and i know its not good on your heart .i also get dark circle under my eyes. sometimes when i eat meat its harder to get up and i feel really bad that i have to put my finger down to make it come up .but you know when i get it out of me. i feel betterand my stomach shrinks and is not bloted.i really would like to eat and not worry about it comming up.                           thanks
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I thought I was the only one in the world with spasms!  I'm seeing a doctor and for right now, before any more testing, he has me on nitroglycerine (whenever I have a spasm).  Does anyone know why he gave me that medicine?  Kind of spooky if you ask me!
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A related discussion, Breathing problem was started.
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A related discussion, Gastroesophageal reflux Disease was started.
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A related discussion, Slight squeeze, upper chest was started.
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